Microtransplantation of Synaptic Membranes to Reactivate Human Synaptic Receptors for Functional Studies

Brice Miller, Ashli Powell, Berenice A. Gutierrez, Agenor Limon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Excitatory and inhibitory ionotropic receptors are the major gates of ion fluxes that determine the activity of synapses during physiological neuronal communication. Therefore, alterations in their abundance, function, and relationships with other synaptic elements have been observed as a major correlate of alterations in brain function and cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders. Understanding how the function of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic receptors is altered by disease is of critical importance for the development of effective therapies. To gain disease-relevant information, it is important to record the electrical activity of neurotransmitter receptors that remain functional in the diseased human brain. So far this is the closest approach to assess pathological alterations in receptors' function. In this work, a methodology is presented to perform microtransplantation of synaptic membranes, which consists of reactivating synaptic membranes from snap frozen human brain tissue containing human receptors, by its injection and posterior fusion into the membrane of Xenopus laevis oocytes. The protocol also provides the methodological strategy to obtain consistent and reliable responses of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, as well as novel detailed methods that are used for normalization and rigorous data analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere64024
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number185
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microtransplantation of Synaptic Membranes to Reactivate Human Synaptic Receptors for Functional Studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this