FREEZE-FRACTURE STUDIES OF FROG NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTIONS DURING INTENSE RELEASE OF NEUROTRANSMITTER III. A Morphometric Analysis of the Number and Diameter of

Abstract

The intramembrane particles on the presynaptic membrane and on the membrane of synaptic vesicles were studied at freeze-fractured neuromuscular junctions of the frog. The particles on the P face of the presynaptic membrane belong to two major classes: small particles with diameters <9 nm and large particles with diameters between 9 and 13 nm. In addition, there were a few extralarge particles with diameters>13 nm. Indirect stimulation of the muscle, or the application of black widow spider venom, decreased the concentration of small particles on the presynaptic membrane but did not change the concentration of large particles. Three similar classes of particles were found on the P face of the membrane of the synaptic vesicles. The concentrations of large and extralarge particles on the vesicle membrane were comparable to the concentrations of these particles on the presynaptic membrane, whereas the concentration of small particles on the vesicle membrane was less than the concentration of small particles on the presynaptic membrane. These results are compatible with the idea that synaptic vesicles fus

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