By conveying signals from the small GTPase family of proteins to the Arp2/3 complex, proteins of the WAVE family facilitate actin remodeling. The WAVE-1 isoform is expressed at high levels in brain, where it plays a role in normal synaptic processing, and is implicated in hippocampus-dependent memory retention. We used electron microscopy to determine whether synaptic structure is modified in the hippocampus of WAVE-1 knockout mice, focusing on the neuropil of CA1 stratum radiatum. Mice lacking WAVE-1 exhibited alterations in the morphology of both axon terminals and dendritic spines; the relationship between the synaptic partners was also modified. The abnormal synaptic morphology we observed suggests that signaling through WAVE-1 plays a critical role in establishing normal synaptic architecture in the rodent hippocampus. © 2013 Hazai et al.
Hazai, D., Szudoczki, R., Ding, J., Soderling, S. H., Weinberg, R. J., Sótonyi, P., & Rácz, B. (2013). Ultrastructural Abnormalities in CA1 Hippocampus Caused by Deletion of the Actin Regulator WAVE-1. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075248