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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 May 10;13(6):365-79. doi: 10.1038/nrn3170.

Deep molecular diversity of mammalian synapses: why it matters and how to measure it.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Beckman Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Pioneering studies in the middle of the twentieth century revealed substantial diversity among mammalian chemical synapses and led to a widely accepted classification of synapse type on the basis of neurotransmitter molecule identity. Subsequently, powerful new physiological, genetic and structural methods have enabled the discovery of much deeper functional and molecular diversity within each traditional neurotransmitter type. Today, this deep diversity continues to pose both daunting challenges and exciting new opportunities for neuroscience. Our growing understanding of deep synapse diversity may transform how we think about and study neural circuit development, structure and function.

PMID:
22573027
PMCID:
PMC3670986
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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