Perforated synapses and plasticity. A developmental overview

Mol Neurobiol. 1991;5(2-4):217-28. doi: 10.1007/BF02935547.


Against a background of existing models relating perforated synapses to synaptic plasticity, the numerical density and frequency of perforated synapses in rat neocortex have been assessed from 1 d to 22 mo of age using the disector procedure, and changes in their morphology were assessed using 3-D computer reconstructions. The data point toward perforated and nonperforated synapses being separate synaptic populations from early in development, and with perforated synapses playing a part in the maintenance of neuronal postsynaptic density surface area from mid-adulthood onwards. This suggests that they play a crucial role in synaptic plasticity, although its nature may be different from that postulated by most recent workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Models, Molecular
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Parietal Lobe / growth & development*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure