Site of transmitter release on presynaptic terminal at chemical synapses. At the neuromuscular junction active zones are located directly across the synaptic cleft from clusters of acetylcholine receptors. Evidence from conotoxin binding studies suggests that presynaptic calcium channelsare exclusively localized at active zones.
The active zone or synaptic active zone is a term first used by Couteaux and Pecot-Dechavassinein in 1970 to define the site of neurotransmitter release. Two neurons make contact through structures called synapses allowing them to communicate with each other. As shown in the diagram on the right, a synapse consists of the presynaptic bouton of one...Found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_zone
a site in a presynaptic membrane that is especially adapted for the release of synaptic vesicles.Found on http://www.encyclo.co.uk/local/21001
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