Physiological investigations have shown that the synaptic input to the sensory neuron of the stretch receptor in the abdominal muscles of the crayfish is purely inhibitory. This neuron was chosen, therefore, as a site in which to study the fine structure of inhibitory synaptic endings. It was hoped that this fine structure might (a) provide a morphological prototype for the study of more complex synaptic systems and (b) reflect the inhibitory mechanisms. Stretch receptors were fixed in situ in buffered OsO4, dehydrated, and embedded in Araldite. Both cross and longitudinal sections were examined after staining with phosphotungstic acid. The inhibitory endings were easily identified by their great similarity to previously described excitatory endings. Small circular profiles (synaptic vesicles) about 460 A in diameter and an accumulation of mitochondria were consistently observed within the presynaptic endings. An increased osmiophilia of pre- and postsynaptic membranes, where they were in apposition, was also seen. The only observed difference between these inhibitory endings and excitatory endings, described by other authors, was the variable presence of a latticework of 230 A tubules in the connective tissue immediately adjacent to the inhibitory endings. Inhibitory endings were observed on all parts of the sensory neuron except the axon.

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