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A synapse is a stable adhesive junction between two cells across which information is relayed by directed secretion. The nervous system and immune system utilize these specialized cell surface contacts to directly convey and transduce highly controlled secretory signals between their constituent cell populations. Each of these synaptic types is built around a microdomain structure comprising central active zones of exocytosis and endocytosis encircled by adhesion domains. Surface molecules that may be incorporated into and around the active zones contribute to modulation of the functional state of the synapse.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





785 - 789


Animals, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Cadherins, Cell Adhesion, Cell Communication, Central Nervous System, Endocytosis, Exocytosis, Integrins, Lymphocyte Activation, Neurons, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Synapses, T-Lymphocytes