The structural plasticity of dendritic spines is considered to be an important basis of synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Here, we induced input-specific structural LTP (sLTP) in single dendritic spines in organotypic hippocampal slices from mice of either sex and performed ultrastructural analyses of the spines using efficient correlative light and electron microscopy. We observed reorganization of the PSD nanostructure, such as perforation and segmentation, at 2–3, 20, and 120 min after sLTP induction. In addition, PSD and nonsynaptic axon–spine interface (nsASI) membrane expanded unevenly during sLTP. Specifically, the PSD area showed a transient increase at 2–3 min after sLTP induction. The PSD growth was to a degree less than spine volume growth at 2–3 min and 20 min after sLTP induction but became similar at 120 min. On the other hand, the nsASI area showed a profound and lasting expansion, to a degree similar to spine volume growth throughout the process. These rapid ultrastructural changes in PSD and surrounding membrane may contribute to rapid electrophysiological plasticity during sLTP.
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