The Synapse book cover

The Synapse

Structure and Function

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.


Neuroscience, Clinical Neurology

Hardbound, 512 Pages

Published: December 2013

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-418675-0


  • 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


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