Chapter

Formation of Specific Synapses

Joseph D. Robinson

in Mechanisms of Synaptic Transmission

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137613
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848164 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137613.003.0011
Formation of Specific Synapses

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This chapter examines the mechanism guiding the growing axon during development to a particular location and how it establishes a specific synaptic connection. Not only must axons grow to their proper destinations, but they also must make functional synaptic contracts on arrival. Synaptic development requires a transformation of growth cones into nerve terminals containing synthetic enzymes for appropriate neurotransmitters, synaptic vesicles with corresponding transporters, machinery for vesicular release, and reuptake transporters and/or neurotransmitter-degrading enzymes. Relevant receptors must appear postsynaptically and physical ties between pre- and postsynaptic elements must form, representing the action of selective cell adhesion molecules.

Keywords: axons; synaptic contracts; growth cones; neurotransmitters; synaptic vesicles; receptors

Chapter.  8246 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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