Dendritic spines have diverse morphologies, with a wide range of head and neck sizes, and these morphologic differences likely generate different functional properties. To explore how this morphologic diversity differs across species and ages we analyzed 3D confocal reconstructions of;8000 human spines and;1700 mouse spines, labeled by intracellular injections in fixed tissue. Using unsupervised algorithms, we computa-tionally separated spine heads and necks and systematically measured morphologic features of spines in apical and basal dendrites from cortical pyramidal cells. Human spines had unimodal distributions of parameters, without any evidence of morphologic subtypes. Their spine necks were longer and thinner in apical than in basal spines, and spine head volumes of an 85-year-old individual were larger than those of a 40-year-old in-dividual. Human spines had longer and thicker necks and larger head volumes than mouse spines. Our results indicate that human spines form part of a continuum, are larger and longer than those of mice, and become larger with increasing adult age. These morphologic differences in spines across species could generate functional differences in biochemical and electrical spine compartmentalization, or in synaptic properties, across species and ages.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 Ofer et al.
- 3D confocal reconstructions
- cerebral cortex
- pyramidal cells