Macromolecular Composition and Functional Organization of Synaptic Structures

  • Sahebarao P. Mahadik
  • Hadassah Tamir
  • Maurice M. Rapport


There is general agreement that what makes the nervous system so special has its highest form of expression in synaptic connections. These minute regions located either between nerve cells or at neuromuscular junctions present a great challenge to neurochemists because of the formidable obstacles that must be overcome to determine their structure and functional organization. Although we have made tremendous advances over the past 20 years in delineating mechanisms concerned with chemical neurotransmitters—mechanisms of biosynthesis, catabolism, storage, release, agonist action, and reuptake—we have learned precious little about the chemical composition and molecular organization of the synaptic structures themselves, of the axon terminals, postsynaptic differentiations, and intersynaptic material where all the activity of chemical transmission is taking place. Demand for this information is increasing, since investigators in the more biological disciplines now recognize that molecular organization contains the key for solving many of the enigmas associated with synaptogenesis, neural plasticity, and learning.


Synaptic Vesicle Axon Terminal Postsynaptic Density Ethylene Glycol Tetraacetic Acid Synaptic Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahebarao P. Mahadik
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hadassah Tamir
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maurice M. Rapport
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of NeuroscienceNew York State Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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