Dependence of presynaptic stability on active zone cytoskeleton or "Can the symphony be perfect without Bassoon?"

Technion City, Electrical Engineering, Room 815 at 14:30

21 September, 2008
The human brain consists of a vast number of neurons interconnected by specialized communication devices known as synapses. It is widely believed that the ability of our brain to learn and memorize is based, to a large extent, on changes made to these synaptic connections. This belief also implies, however, that synapses, when not driven to change their characteristics should retain these over time. Otherwise, physiologically relevant changes would be gradually lost due to spurious changes or spontaneous drift. Synaptic tenacity – the capacity of synapses to retain their characteristics over time – is not at all obvious.
Imaging studies reveal that synapses, and in particularly presynaptic compartments, are sites of intense molecular dynamics
and membrane trafficking processes. On top of this, most presynaptic compartments lack obvious barriers that confine their constituents or isolate them from neighboring synapses. How, then do presynaptic com
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