Heterogeneity of glutamatergic synapses: cellular mechanisms and network consequences

2022 | journal article; overview. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

Jump to:Cite & Linked | Documents & Media | Details | Version history

Cite this publication

​Heterogeneity of glutamatergic synapses: cellular mechanisms and network consequences​
Wichmann, C.   & Kuner, T.​ (2022) 
Physiological Reviews102(1) pp. 269​-318​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00039.2020 

Documents & Media

License

GRO License GRO License

Details

Authors
Wichmann, Carolin ; Kuner, Thomas
Abstract
Chemical synapses are commonly known as a structurally and functionally highly diverse class of cell-cell contacts specialized to mediate communication between neurons. They represent the smallest “computational” unit of the brain and are typically divided into excitatory and inhibitory as well as modulatory categories. These categories are subdivided into diverse types, each representing a different structure-function repertoire that in turn are thought to endow neuronal networks with distinct computational properties. The diversity of structure and function found among a given category of synapses is referred to as heterogeneity. The main building blocks for this heterogeneity are synaptic vesicles, the active zone, the synaptic cleft, the postsynaptic density, and glial processes associated with the synapse. Each of these five structural modules entails a distinct repertoire of functions, and their combination specifies the range of functional heterogeneity at mammalian excitatory synapses, which are the focus of this review. We describe synapse heterogeneity that is manifested on different levels of complexity ranging from the cellular morphology of the pre- and postsynaptic cells toward the expression of different protein isoforms at individual release sites. We attempt to define the range of structural building blocks that are used to vary the basic functional repertoire of excitatory synaptic contacts and discuss sources and general mechanisms of synapse heterogeneity. Finally, we explore the possible impact of synapse heterogeneity on neuronal network function.
Chemical synapses are commonly known as a structurally and functionally highly diverse class of cell-cell contacts specialized to mediate communication between neurons. They represent the smallest “computational” unit of the brain and are typically divided into excitatory and inhibitory as well as modulatory categories. These categories are subdivided into diverse types, each representing a different structure-function repertoire that in turn are thought to endow neuronal networks with distinct computational properties. The diversity of structure and function found among a given category of synapses is referred to as heterogeneity. The main building blocks for this heterogeneity are synaptic vesicles, the active zone, the synaptic cleft, the postsynaptic density, and glial processes associated with the synapse. Each of these five structural modules entails a distinct repertoire of functions, and their combination specifies the range of functional heterogeneity at mammalian excitatory synapses, which are the focus of this review. We describe synapse heterogeneity that is manifested on different levels of complexity ranging from the cellular morphology of the pre- and postsynaptic cells toward the expression of different protein isoforms at individual release sites. We attempt to define the range of structural building blocks that are used to vary the basic functional repertoire of excitatory synaptic contacts and discuss sources and general mechanisms of synapse heterogeneity. Finally, we explore the possible impact of synapse heterogeneity on neuronal network function.
Issue Date
2022
Journal
Physiological Reviews 
Project
SFB 1286: Quantitative Synaptologie 
SFB 1286 | A04: Aktivitätsabhängige morphologische Veränderungen am Endkolben von Held-Synapsen 
Working Group
RG Wichmann (Molecular Architecture of Synapses) 
External URL
https://sfb1286.uni-goettingen.de/literature/publications/140
ISSN
0031-9333
eISSN
1522-1210
Language
English

Reference

Citations


Social Media