The formation of synapses in the central nervous system

Adriana B Ferreira*, Sabrina Paganoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Interneuronal synapses are specialized contact zones formed between the transmitting pole of one neuron, usually an axon, and the receptive pole of another nerve cell, usually a dendritic process or the soma. The formation of these synaptic contacts is the result of cellular events related to neurite elongation, the establishment of polarity, axon guidance, and target recognition. A series of morphological rearrangements takes place once synaptic targets establish their initial contact. These changes include the clustering of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic element and the formation of a specialized area capable of signal transduction at the postsynaptic target. The present review discusses the role of different synaptic proteins in the cellular events leading to the formation of synapses among neurons in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Agrin
  • Cadherins
  • Interneuronal synapses
  • Neurotransmitter receptor clustering
  • Synapsins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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