Subsynaptic plate perforations: changes with age and experience in the rat

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Science  08 Dec 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4372, pp. 1096-1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.715459


The relative frequency of appearance of discontinuities in the postsynaptic thickening, or perforations in the subsynaptic plate, increased with age and experience. Rats reared from weaning in complex or social environments had a significantly higher proportion of occipital cortical synapses with perforations than did rats reared in isolation. In addition, the relative frequency of these perforations more than tripled between 10 and 60 days of age. Shifts in the frequency of perforations can occur independently of changes in the size of synpases. This result suggests a new potential mechanism of synaptic plasticity.

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