Synapsin IIa accelerates functional development of neuromuscular synapses

Eric Schaeffer, Janet Alder, Paul Greengard, Mu Ming Poo

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27 Scopus citations


We have investigated the possible involvement of the synaptic vesicle protein synapsin IIa in synapse development. Synapsin IIa was introduced into Xenopus embryonic spinal neurons by early blastomere injection, and nerve- muscle cultures were prepared. Synaptic currents were measured by comparing synapses in which the presynaptic neuron either contained [syn IIa (+)] or lacked (control) exogenous synapsin IIa. Syn IIa (+) synapses had a 3.6-fold increase in the frequency and a 2.1-fold increase in the amplitude of spontaneous synaptic currents, compared to controls, after 2 days in culture. Synapsin IIa also increased the amplitude of evoked synaptic currents by 2.3- fold in 2-day cultures. The evoked synaptic current amplitudes of syn IIa (+) synapses had a lower coefficient of variation indicating a more stable evoked response. These enhanced synaptic activities were independent of the presence or absence of the protein in the postsynaptic muscle cell. The findings indicate a role for synapsin IIa in synapse maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3882-3886
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 26 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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