SCI TV - The Synaptome Meets the Connectome: Fathoming the Deep Diversity of CNS Synapses
Synapses of the mammalian central nervous system are complex and deeply diverse structures that mediate complex, diverse and highly plastic signaling functions. To understand the structure, function and disorders of brain circuitry, it will be necessary to build bodies of knowledge that thoroughly and quantitatively fathom synapse molecular and functional diversity, i.e., synaptomes. This task requires analysis of large synapse populations in situ with measurements at the level of individual synapses: techniques that permit such analysis are only beginning to emerge. One of them is a new high-resolution proteomic imaging method called Array Tomography. I shall describe our progress in developing array tomographic tools for application to construction of mammalian CNS synaptomes, and highlight the very substantial computational challenges involved.