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Synapse Turnover: A Mechanism For Acquiring Synaptic Specificity.

R. Ruffolo, G. Eisenbarth, J. Thompson, M. Nirenberg
Published 1978 · Biology, Medicine

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Neurons are generated in chick retina that are able to form synapses with striated muscle cells for only a brief period during embryonic development. The ability to form synapses is lost with a half-life of 21 hr. Retina neuron-myotube synapses form rapidly but soon are terminated. Chick embryo spinal cord neurons also form synapses with muscle cells for only a limited time during development, but these synapses are long lived. These results show that different classes of synapses turn over at different rates and suggest that part of the specificity of synaptic circuits may be acquired during development by a process of selection based on synapse termination rates.



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