Postsynaptic densities and the adjacent cytoskeleton were examined in deep-etched, unfixed slices of guinea pig anteroventral cochlear nucleus. The postsynaptic density seen in conventional thin sections corresponds to a meshwork of 4-nm filaments associated with intramembrane particles at the postsynaptic active zone of inhibitory as well as excitatory synapses. These filaments intermesh with a lattice of 8- to 9-nm microfilaments, tentatively identified as F-actin, that is concentrated under the postsynaptic density. We postulate that the meshwork of 4-nm filaments anchors receptors to the adjacent microfilament lattice; this extended postsynaptic complex may limit the mobility of receptors and help maintain the curvature of the postsynaptic membrane.

This content is only available as a PDF.