Structural contributions to short-term synaptic plasticity

Physiol Rev. 2004 Jan;84(1):69-85. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00016.2003.


Synaptic ultrastructure is critical to many basic hypotheses about synaptic transmission. Various aspects of synaptic ultrastructure have also been implicated in the mechanisms of short-term plasticity. These forms of plasticity can greatly affect synaptic strength during ongoing activity. We review the evidence for how synaptic ultrastructure may contribute to facilitation, depletion, saturation, and desensitization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology