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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Latest Synaptogenesis Stories

2013-04-18 23:27:49

High-powered microscopes open a live look at a process where mutations lead to autism and other diseases Using spinning disk microscopy on barely day-old zebra fish embryos, University of Oregon scientists have gained a new window on how synapse-building components move to worksites in the central nervous system. What researchers captured in these see-through embryos -- in what may be one of the first views of early glutamate-driven synapse formation in a living vertebrate -- were...

2011-03-23 20:39:46

It is well established that environmental enrichment, providing animals with rich sensory, motor, and social stimulation, produces both dramatic increases in the number of synapses in the brain and enhanced learning. However, causal relationships between synapse formation and improved memory have not been definitively established. Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the March 24 issue of the journal Neuron introduces a valuable model system for investigating the role of synapse...

2010-06-23 00:58:05

Effective brain function depends on the efficient signaling from one neuron to the next, a lightning-fast process that depends on a quick release of neurotransmitters at synapses. Exposure to lead during early childhood and even later in life has long been known to affect the release of these critical neurotransmitters. However, the precise mechanism by which lead ions (Pb2+) impair this process has remained unknown. A new study led by Tomás Guilarte, PhD, chair of Environmental Health...

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2009-06-18 07:35:00

A protein called neuroligin that is implicated in some forms of autism is critical to the construction of a working synapse, locking neurons together like "molecular Velcro," a study lead by a team of UC Davis researchers has found. Published online in the June issue of the journal Neural Development, the study is accompanied by groundbreaking images that are the first to show two neurons coming together using neuroligin to construct a new synapse. "Previous research has suggested that...

2009-06-02 14:55:00

Oligophrenin-1, faulty in mental retardation, plays a vital pre-synaptic role in normal neural signalingBrain cells, or neurons, transmit electrical signals efficiently only when they recycle tiny cellular sacs that store signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters. When a neuron is stimulated, the sacs are expelled into the synapse"”the tiny junction between nerve cells"”where they release the chemicals, which neighboring cells in turn soak up.Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor...