Acute Functional Adaptations in Isolated Presynaptic Terminals Unveil Synaptosomal Learning and Memory

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Synaptosomes are used to decipher the mechanisms involved in chemical transmission, since they permit highlighting the mechanisms of transmitter release and confirming whether the activation of presynaptic receptors/enzymes can modulate this event. In the last two decades, important progress in the field came from the observations that synaptosomes retain changes elicited by both "in vivo" and "in vitro" acute chemical stimulation. The novelty of these studies is the finding that these adaptations persist beyond the washout of the triggering drug, emerging subsequently as functional modifications of synaptosomal performances, including release efficiency. These findings support the conclusion that synaptosomes are plastic entities that respond dynamically to ambient stimulation, but also that they "learn and memorize" the functional adaptation triggered by acute exposure to chemical agents. This work aims at reviewing the results so far available concerning this form of synaptosomal learning, also highlighting the role of these acute chemical adaptations in pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3641
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2019


  • functional adaptation
  • in vitro treatment
  • in vivo treatment
  • presynaptic receptors
  • synaptosomes
  • transmitter release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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