The organization of cytoplasm at the presynaptic active zone of a central nervous system synapse

Neuron. 1988 May;1(3):201-9. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(88)90140-7.


The axoplasm at the presynaptic active zone of excitatory synapses between parallel fibers and Purkinje cell spines contains a meshwork of distinct filaments intermingled with synaptic vesicles, seen most clearly after the rapid freezing, freeze-etch technique of tissue preparation. One set of filaments extends radially from synaptic vesicles and intersects similar filaments associated with vesicles as well as larger filaments arising from the presynaptic membrane. The small, vesicle-associated filaments appear to link synaptic vesicles to one another and to enmesh them in the vicinity of the synaptic junction. The vesicle-associated filaments could be synapsin I because they have the same molecular dimensions and are distributed in the same pattern as synapsin I immunoreactivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / ultrastructure*
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*
  • Synapsins


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synapsins