To be or not to be? Mechanisms for inhibitory bouton formation and stabilization

Jian Liang

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


The synapse is a basic subcellular unit for neural communication. Synaptic changes such as synaptic potentiation or depression, are recognized to be the underlying mechanism for learning and memory. Defects in synapse development are associated with various brain diseases. Although the mechanism for excitatory synapse development is intensively investigated in past decades, the molecular mechanism underneath of inhibitory synapse development is less understood. The development of a single synapse goes through multiple phases including axons and dendrites are closed to each other, initiation of axon-dendrite contact, recruitment of synaptic proteins, synaptic pruning and maturation, and ultimately to be a functional synapse. With high resolution microscopy, the dynamic process of synapse formation can be monitored. For instance, during my PhD, I used two-photon microscopy to trace the dynamics of inhibitory bouton. These boutons dynamically disappear and reappear or new bouton formation. Inhibitory bouton dynamics might be tightly regulated by various intrinsic or extrinsic factors including secreted proteins, modulators, and neuronal activity. In the present thesis, I aimed to explore the molecular mechanism for inhibitory bouton formation and stabilization.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Akhmanova, Anna, Primary supervisor
  • Wierenga, Corette, Co-supervisor
Award date13 Apr 2022
Print ISBNs978-94-6458-148-5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022


  • Inhibitory boutons
  • two-photon microscopy
  • endocannabinoids


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