Date of Completion

Fall 12-15-2019

Thesis Advisor(s)

William Snyder; Linnaea Ostroff

Honors Major

Cognitive Science


Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Other Neuroscience and Neurobiology


There is a significant lack of research on vesicle morphology in inhibitory synapses in the rat lateral amygdala. Published research focuses heavily on excitatory synapses in different parts of the rat brain and even this research rarely focuses on the different vesicle types in axons. It is reported that in these axons, synaptic vesicles traditionally contain neurotransmitters while small dense core vesicles contain active zone proteins and large dense core vesicles contain neuropeptides. This study aims to find correlations between vesicle morphology, location, contents, and potential function of each of the different types of vesicle in inhibitory axons.

After reviewing a plethora of published literature on both excitatory and inhibitory synapses and their vesicles, sections of the rat lateral amygdala were analyzed and vesicle morphology, size, and location was recorded. Analysis of these qualities failed to correlate with those found in excitatory synapses. This lack of correlation leads to difficulty in discerning the contents of these vesicles as well as their potential function in inhibitory synapses. Further research and analysis of different rat brain sections is needed in inhibitory axons to find the purpose of the different types of vesicles.