The Drosophila neuromuscular junction: A model system for studying synaptic development and function

Haig Keshishian, Kendal Broadie, Akira Chiba, Michael Bate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

233 Scopus citations


The Drosophila neuromuscular junction has attracted widespread attention as an excellent model system for studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic development and neurotransmission. In Drosophila the advantages of invertebrate small systems, where individual cells can be examined with single-cell resolution, are combined with the powerful techniques of patch-clamp analysis and molecular genetics. In this review we examine myogenesis and motoneuron development, the problems of axon outgrowth and target selection, the differentiation of the synapse, and the mechanisms of both synaptic function and plasticity in this model genetic system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-575
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996



  • axonogenesis
  • motoneurons
  • muscle
  • synaptic transmission
  • synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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