The Synapse

1st Edition

Structure and Function

Editors: Virginia Pickel Menahem Segal
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124186750
eBook ISBN: 9780124186828
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 10th December 2013
Page Count: 512
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Description

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.

Key Features

  • A comprehensive reference focused on the structure and function of the synapse
  • Covers the links between the synapse and neural plasticity and the cellular basis of neurologic disease
  • Detailed coverage of dendritic spines and associated perisynaptic glia—the tripartite synapse
  • Includes in-depth coverage of synapse degeneration due to aging or hormonal decline related to severe cognitive impairment

Readership

Neuroscience, Clinical Neurology

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Chapter One. Structure and Complexity of the Synapse and Dendritic Spine

Abstract

1 Introduction

2.1 Synapses and Dendritic Spines

2.2 Synapse: Spine Relationship

2.3 Dendritic Spine Classifications

3 Conclusions

References

Chapter Two. The Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Synaptic Transmission: A View of the Presynaptic Terminal

Abstract

Acknowledgments

1 Introduction

2.1 Synaptic Structure

2.2 The Synaptic Vesicle Cycle

2.3 A Glimpse into the Nanometric Molecular Organization of the Synapse

2.4 Synchronous, A-synchronous and Spontaneous Release: Physiological and Molecular Perspectives

2.5 Molecular Aspects of Synaptic Plasticity

2.6 Genetic Manipulations of Synaptic Proteins and Behavioral Consequences

3 Conclusions

References

Chapter Three. The First Hour in the Life of a Synapse: Contact Formation, Partner Selection, and Onset of Function

Abstract

1 Introduction

2.1 Contact Formation

2.2 Partner Selection

2.3 Onset of Function

3 Conclusions

References

Chapter Four. Structural and Functional Organization of the Postsynaptic Density

Abstract

1 Introduction

2.1 Excitatory Synapses: Postsynaptic Organization

2.2 Synaptic Adhesion Molecules Gene Mutations

2.3 Postsynaptic Scaffolds and Their Relation to Neuropsychiatric Disorders

3 Conclusions

References

Chapter Five. The Tripartite Synapse: A Role for Glial Cells in Modulating Synaptic Transmission

Abstract

1 Introduction

2.1 Astrocyte Functions

2.2 Ca2+ Signaling in Astrocytes

2.3 Gliotransmission

2.4 Astrocytic Modulation of Synaptic Transmission

3 Conclusions

References

Chapter Six. Local Protein Synthesis at Synapses

Details

No. of pages:
512
Language:
English
Copyright:
© Academic Press 2014
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
9780124186828
Hardcover ISBN:
9780124186750

About the Editor

Virginia Pickel

Virginia M. Pickel, Ph.D., Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Division of Neurobiology, Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Pickel received her M.S. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and her Ph.Do from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. Her past appointment include NIH Postdoctoral and Staff Fellow, Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, NIMH, Washington, DC; and Professor of Neurobiology in Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY. Throughout her esteemed career, she has been awarded the NIMH Career Development Award, NIMH Research Scientist Award, Solowey Award , and the NIMH MERIT Award. Her ongoing research examines the role of synaptic plasticity in hypothalamic regulation of cardiovascular function and in the mechanisms underlying drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. She has contributed to 270 original journal articles and 30 book chapters.

Affiliations and Expertise

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA

Menahem Segal

I was born on August 11, 1944, towards the end of WWII. My early life memories include running for a shelter to the sound of the sirens, as the Egyptians were bombing Tel Aviv, during the war of 1948. I grew up in Israel, went to school at a local university, and was one of the earliest students to combine Experimental Psychology and Biology. After graduating with a MS degree, I realized that Neuroscience education was non-existent at the time in Israel, and decided to obtain it in the US. I was fortunate to be accepted to graduate studies at Cal Tech, under the supervision of the late Jim Olds, an amazing educational and personal experience. From there I went for a Postdoc position with Floyd Bloom, then at the NIMH. These were the early days of Neuroscience, quite exciting, indeed. This was a transition period from the old paper electrophysiology, with EPSP counts on a Grass camera, to the modern world, and personal computers were about to be invented. My next critical decision was in 1974, to go back to Israel and take a position at the Weizmann Institute, where I have been working since. I could have done better, I could have done worse, but I like what I am doing, studying plasticity in cultured neurons and brain slices, combining electrophysiology and imaging of living dendritic spines. It is fun.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel