The superior cervical ganglion (SCG) of adult rats was exposed to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by means of long-term microapplication. Serial sections were cut from GABA-treated and control ganglia, and subsequently the fine structure of individual synapses was investigated. The quantitative analysis of structural parameters of studied synapses showed that significant changes consisting of (1) a reduction in size of presynaptic axon terminals, (2) a decrease in the number of synaptic vesicles, and (3) a diminution in the extent of the postsynaptic membrane thickening at the dendritic side developed as an effect of GABA-treatment. These results provide morphological evidence that long-term application of GABA to the SCG exerts a combination of effects on both presynaptic and postsynaptic elements. It is suggested that the structural changes observed in the fine structure of individual synapses within the SCG may play an integral role in the development of the synaptogenetic action of GABA.
- Superior cervical ganglion
- Synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology