A presynaptic complex in the giant synapse of the squid

Research paper by Rainer Martin, Ricardo Miledi

Indexed on: 01 Apr '75Published on: 01 Apr '75Published in: Journal of neurocytology


A presynaptic complex consisting of thin lamellae associated with vesicles was found frequently in presynaptic terminals of the squid giant synapse. The lamellae, made of osmiophilic material, had an average length and width of about 1o μm and a thickness of 30 nm; they were of rectangular shape. While most frequent in the axoplasm of the most distal, and largest, terminal of the presynaptic giant axon, the lamellae were found also in smaller terminal branches of this fibre. They have not been observed in the proximal parts of the presynaptic or postsynaptic giant axons. Vesicles the size of synaptic vesicles surrounded the sides of the lamellae. The presynaptic complex resembles the synaptic ribbons in sensory cells.