Anisotropic diffusion in mitral cell dendrites revealed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

Arne Gennerich, Detlev Schild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) can be used to measure kinetic properties of single molecules in drops of solution or in cells. Here we report on FCS measurements of tetramethylrhodamine (TMR)-dextran (10 kDa) in dendrites of cultured mitral cells of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. To interpret such measurements correctly, the plasma membrane as a boundary of diffusion has to be taken into account. We show that the fluorescence data recorded from dendrites are best described by a model of anisotropic diffusion. As compared to diffusion in water, diffusion of the 10-kDa TMR-dextran along the dendrite is slowed down by a factor 1.1-2.1, whereas diffusion in lateral direction is 10-100 times slower. The dense intradendritic network of microtubules oriented parallel to the dendrite is discussed as a possible basis for the observed anisotropy. In somata, diffusion was found to be isotropic in three dimensions and 1.2-2.6 times slower than in water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-522
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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