Synaptic pruning through glial synapse engulfment upon motor learning

Yosuke M. Morizawa, Mami Matsumoto, Yuka Nakashima, Narumi Endo, Tomomi Aida, Hiroshi Ishikane, Kaoru Beppu, Satoru Moritoh, Hitoshi Inada, Noriko Osumi, Eiji Shigetomi, Schuichi Koizumi, Guang Yang, Hirokazu Hirai, Kohichi Tanaka, Kenji F. Tanaka, Nobuhiko Ohno, Yugo Fukazawa, Ko Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Synaptic pruning is a fundamental process of neuronal circuit refinement in learning and memory. Accumulating evidence suggests that glia participates in sculpting the neuronal circuits through synapse engulfment. However, whether glial involvement in synaptic pruning has a role in memory formation remains elusive. Using newly developed phagocytosis reporter mice and three-dimensional ultrastructural characterization, we found that synaptic engulfment by cerebellar Bergmann glia (BG) frequently occurred upon cerebellum-dependent motor learning in mice. We observed increases in pre- and postsynaptic nibbling by BG along with a reduction in spine volume after learning. Pharmacological blockade of engulfment with Annexin V inhibited both the spine volume reduction and overnight improvement of motor adaptation. These results indicate that BG contribute to the refinement of the mature cerebellar cortical circuit through synaptic engulfment during motor learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1469
Number of pages12
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Synaptic pruning through glial synapse engulfment upon motor learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this