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The presynaptic cell determines the number of synapses in the Drosophila optic ganglia

AuthorsCanal, Inmaculada; Fariñas, Isabel; Gho, M.; Ferrús, Alberto CSIC ORCID
Issue Date1994
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationEuropean Journal of Neuroscience 6: 1423- 1431 (1994)
AbstractThe role of the pre- and postsynaptic cells in determining the number of synapses has been investigated in retina mosaics of the gigas (gig) mutant of Drosophila. Mutant photoreceptors are two to three times larger than those of the wild type, while adjacent cells in the mosaic retina and the lamina are normal in size. Serial electron microscope reconstructions of mosaic lamina cartridges show that gig photoreceptors establish more synapses upon lamina neurons than the normal photoreceptors do. By contrast, the number of feedback synapses that lamina neurons make onto gig photoreceptors does not increase. The increment in the number of synapses correlates positively with the increment of presynaptic cell membrane, resulting in constancy of synapse density. The phototactic response of flies bearing a gig eye is abnormal, indicating that the extra synapses are functional.
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