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Synapse & Synaptic Proteins

The key to neural function is the synaptic signaling process, which is partly electrical and partly chemical. Synaptic signals to other neurons are transmitted by the axon; signals from other neurons are received by the soma and dendrites. The human brain contains about 100 billion neurons and 100-500 trillion synapses; each neuron may have thousands of input synaptic connections. It is the complex integration of these synaptic signals that controls all of the body functions including learning, memory, sensory integration, motor coordination, and emotional responses.

Sino Biological provides a broad range of products for research on synapse of the nervous system. These include products related to neurotransmitter release, pre-synaptic ion homeostasis, trans-synaptic cell-adhesion, and more.

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    Synapse & Synaptic Proteins Background

    The key to neural function is the synaptic signaling process, which is partly electrical and partly chemical. Synaptic signals to other neurons are transmitted by the axon; signals from other neurons are received by the soma and dendrites. Synapses can be excitatory or inhibitory and will either increase or decrease activity in the target neuron. The human brain contains about 100 billion neurons and 100-500 trillion synapses; each neuron may have thousands of input synaptic connections. It is the complex integration of these synaptic signals that controls all of the body functions including learning, memory, sensory integration, motor coordination, and emotional responses.

    The electrical synapses are direct, electrically-conductive junctions between cells. In a chemical synapse, the process of synaptic transmission is as follows: when an action potential reaches the axon terminal, it opens voltage-gated calcium channels, allowing calcium ions to enter the terminal. Calcium causes synaptic vesicles filled with neurotransmitter molecules to fuse with the membrane, releasing their contents into the synaptic cleft. The neurotransmitters diffuse across the synaptic cleft and activate receptors on the postsynaptic neuron.

    Synapse & Synaptic Proteins References

      1. Fooksman DR, et al. (2010) Functional anatomy of T cell activation and synapse formation. Annu Rev Immunol. 28:79-105.
      2. Chua JJ, et al. (2010) The architecture of an excitatory synapse. J Cell Sci. 123(Pt 6):819-23.
      3. Wu H, et al. (2010) To build a synapse: signaling pathways in neuromuscular junction assembly. Development. 137(7):1017-33.
      4. Gouras GK, et al. (2010) Intraneuronal beta-amyloid accumulation and synapse pathology in Alzheimer's disease. Acta Neuropathol. 119(5):523-41.