Forgot your Password

If you have forgotten your password, please enter your account email below and we will reset your password and email you the new password.


Login to SciCrunch


Register an Account

Delete Saved Search

Are you sure you want to delete this saved search?


NIF LinkOut Portal


Intramembrane organization of specialized contacts in the outer plexiform layer of the retina. A freeze-fracture study in monkeys and rabbits.

Raviola E, Gilula NB
The Journal of cell biology


Freeze-fracture analysis of the neural connections in the outer plexiform layer of the retina of primates (Macaca mulatta and Macaca arctoides) demonstrates a remarkable diversity in the internal structure of the synaptic membranes. In the invaginating synapses of cone pedicles, the plasma membrane of the photoreceptor ending contains an aggregate of A-face particles, a hexagonal array of synaptic vesicle sites, and rows of coated vesicle sites, which are deployed in sequence from apex to base of the synaptic ridge. The horizontal cell dendrites lack vesicle sites and have two aggregates of intramembrane A-face particles, one at the interface with the apex of the synaptic ridge, the other opposite the tip of the invaginating midget bipolar dendrite. Furthermore, the horizontal cell dendrites are interconnected by a novel type of specialized junction, characterized by: (a) enlarged intercellular cleft, bisected by a dense plate and traversed by uniformly spaced crossbars; (b) symmetrical arrays of B-face particles arranged in parallel rows within the junctional membranes; and (c) a layer of dense material on the cytoplasmic surface of the membranes. The plasmalemma of the invaginating midget bipolar dendrite is unspecialized. At the contact region between the basal surface of cone pedicles and the dendrites of the flat midget and diffuse cone bipolar cells, the pedicle membrane has moderately clustered A-face particles, but no vesicle sites, whereas the adjoining membrane of the bipolar dendrites contains an aggregate of B-face particles. The invaginating synapse of rod spherules differs from that of cone pedicles, because the membrane of the axonal endings of the horizontal cells only has an A-face particle aggregate opposite the apex of the synaptic ridge. Specialized junctions between horizontal cell processes, characterized by symmetrical arrays of intramembrane B-face particles, are also present in the neuropil underlying the photoreceptor endings. Small gap junctions connect the processes of the horizontal cells; other gap junctions probably connect the bipolar cell dendrites which make contact with each cone pedicle. Most of the junctional specializations typical of the primate outer plexiform layer are also found in the rabbit retina. The fact that specialized contacts between different types of neurons interacting in the outer plexiform layer have specific arrangements of intramembrane particles strongly suggests that the internal structure of the synaptic membranes is intimately correlated with synaptic function.

  1. Welcome

    Welcome to NIF. Explore available research resources: data, tools and materials, from across the web

  2. Community Resources

    Search for resources specially selected for NIF community

  3. More Resources

    Search across hundreds of additional biomedical databases

  4. Literature

    Search Pub Med abstracts and full text from PubMed Central

  5. Insert your Query

    Enter your search terms here and hit return. Search results for the selected tab will be returned.

  6. Join the Community

    Click here to login or register and join this community.

  7. Categories

    Narrow your search by selecting a category. For additional help in searching, view our tutorials.

  8. Query Info

    Displays the total number of search results. Provides additional information on search terms, e.g., automated query expansions, and any included categories or facets. Expansions, filters and facets can be removed by clicking on the X. Clicking on the + restores them.

  9. Search Results

    Displays individual records and a brief description. Click on the icons below each record to explore additional display options.