Fyn is a Src-family tyrosine kinase that affects long term potentiation (LTP), synapse formation, and learning and memory. Fyn is also implicated in dendritic spine formation both in vitro and in vivo. However, whether Fyn's regulation of dendritic spine formation is brain-region specific and age-dependent is unknown. In the present study, we systematically examined whether Fyn altered dendritic spine density and morphology in the cortex and hippocampus and if these effects were age-dependent. We found that Fyn knockout mice trended toward a decrease in dendritic spine density in cortical layers II/III, but not in the hippocampus, at 1 month of age. Additionally, Fyn knockout mice had significantly decreased dendritic spine density in both the cortex and hippocampus at 3 months and 1 year, and Fyn's effect on dendritic spine density was age-dependent in the hippocampus. Moreover, Fyn knockout mice had wider spines at the three time points (1 month, 3 months, 1 year) in the cortex. These findings suggest that Fyn regulates dendritic spine number and morphology over time and provide further support for Fyn's role in maintaining proper synaptic function in vivo.
- Dendritic spine