The Synapse

Structure and Function

Edited by

  • Virginia Pickel, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA
  • Menahem Segal, Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

The Synapse summarizes recent advances in cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission and provides new insights into neuronal plasticity and the cellular basis of neurological diseases.

  • Part 1 provides an in-depth look at structural differences and distribution of various pre- and post-synaptic proteins found at glutamatergic synapses.
  • Part 2 is dedicated to dendritic spines and their associated perisynaptic glia, which together constitute the tripartite synapse. The spines are portrayed as major sites for calcium sequestration and local protein synthesis.
  • Part 3 highlights the important regional and cellular differences between glutamatergic transmission and that of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine that are commonly found in axon terminals without synaptic membrane specializations.
  • Part 4 provides an overview of the synapse from the time of formation to degeneration under the powerful influence of aging or hormonal decline that leads to severe deficits in cognitive function.

Each chapter is illustrated with drawings and images derived from calcium imaging, electron microscopic immunolabeling, or electrophysiology. This book is a valuable reference for neuroscientists and clinical neurologists in both research and clinical settings.

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Neuroscience, Clinical Neurology


Book information

  • Published: December 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-418675-0

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Structure and Complexity of the Synapse and Dendritic Spine - Stewart

Chapter 2:  The Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Synaptic Transmission: A View of the Presynaptic Terminal - Ashery

Chapter 3: The First Hour in the Life of a Synapse: Contact Formation, Partner Selection and Onset of Function - Cheyne

Chapter 4: Structural and Functional Organization of the Postsynaptic Density - Verpelli

Chapter 5: The Tripartite Synapse: A Role for Glial Cells in Modulating Synaptic Transmission - Blutstein

Chapter 6: Local Protein Synthesis at Synapses - Steward

Chapter 7: Estrogen Effects on Hippocampal Synapses - Milner

Chapter 8: Trafficking of Glutamate Receptors and Associated Proteins in Synaptic Plasticity - Horak

Chapter 9: Structural Alterations of Synapses in Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Disorders - Penzes

Chapter 10: Synaptic Correlates of Aging and Cognitive Decline - Hara

Chapter 11: Activity-Induced Fine Structural Changes of Synapses in the Mammalian Central Nervous System - Tao-Cheng

Chapter 12: Activity-mediated Structural Plasticity of Dendritic Spines - Muller

Chapter 13: Experience-dependent Synaptic Plasticity in the Developing Cerebral Cortex - Aoki

Chapter 14: Asynaptic and Synaptic Innervation by Acetylcholine Neurons of the Central Nervous System - Descarries

Chapter 15:  Prefrontal Cortical Dopamine Transmission: Ultrastructural Studies and Their Functional Implications - Sesak