Long-term synapse loss induced by focal blockade of postsynaptic receptors

Nature. 1994 Dec 8;372(6506):519-24. doi: 10.1038/372519a0.


Focal application in vivo of alpha-bungarotoxin to block neurotransmission in a small region of a neuromuscular junction causes long-lasting synapse elimination at that site. In contrast, blockade of neurotransmission throughout a junction does not cause synapse elimination. These and related experiments indicate that active synaptic sites can destabilize inactive synapses in their vicinity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bungarotoxins / pharmacology
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Mice
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Bungarotoxins
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Cholinergic