Neurophotonics 3 (4) 041803 [2016-10-00; online 2016-05-14]
Advancement in fluorescence imaging with the invention of several super-resolution microscopy modalities (e.g., PALM/STORM and STED) has opened up the possibility of deciphering molecular distributions on the nanoscale. In our quest to better elucidate postsynaptic protein distribution in dendritic spines, we have applied these nanoscopy methods, where generated results could help improve our understanding of neuronal functions. In particular, we have investigated the principal energy transformer in the brain, i.e., the [Formula: see text]-ATPase (or sodium pump), an essential protein responsible for maintaining resting membrane potential and a major controller of intracellular ion homeostasis. In these investigations, we have focused on estimates of protein amount, giving assessments of how variations may depend on labeling strategies, sample analysis, and choice of nanoscopic imaging method, concluding that all can be critical factors for quantification. We present a comparison of these results and discuss the influences this may have for homeostatic sodium regulation in neurons and energy consumption.