Neuron 2018 Aug 2;99(4):781-799.e10. Epub 2018 Aug 2.
Genes to Cognition Program, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, UK. Electronic address:
Synapses are found in vast numbers in the brain and contain complex proteomes. We developed genetic labeling and imaging methods to examine synaptic proteins in individual excitatory synapses across all regions of the mouse brain. Synapse catalogs were generated from the molecular and morphological features of a billion synapses. Each synapse subtype showed a unique anatomical distribution, and each brain region showed a distinct signature of synapse subtypes. Whole-brain synaptome cartography revealed spatial architecture from dendritic to global systems levels and previously unknown anatomical features. Synaptome mapping of circuits showed correspondence between synapse diversity and structural and functional connectomes. Behaviorally relevant patterns of neuronal activity trigger spatiotemporal postsynaptic responses sensitive to the structure of synaptome maps. Areas controlling higher cognitive function contain the greatest synapse diversity, and mutations causing cognitive disorders reorganized synaptome maps. Synaptome technology and resources have wide-ranging application in studies of the normal and diseased brain.