Three sets of filamentous structures were found to be associated with synaptic junctions in slices of cerebellar tissue prepared by rapid-freezing and freeze-etch techniques. The electron-dense fuzz subjacent to postsynaptic membranes corresponds to a web of 4-6-nm-diam filaments that were clearly visualized in rapid-frozen, freeze-etched preparations. Purkinje cell dendritic spines are filled with a meshwork of 5-7-nm filaments that were found to contact the spine membrane everywhere except at the synaptic junction, and extend through the neck of the spine into the parent dendrite. In addition, 8-10-nm microfilaments, possibly actin, were seen to be associated with the postsynaptic web and to extend into the body and neck of the spine. The arrangements and attachments of the filamentous elements in the Purkinje cell dendritic spine may account for its shape.

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