The vertebrate NMJ provides a powerful model system for studies in synapto-genesis. The large number of factors that influence NMJ formation demonstrates the complexity of establishing such as specialized site of cell-cell contact. However, roles for the ECM, and particularly agrin signaling and laminins, have been well characterized. The extent to which these functions will be preserved in the CNS remains to be seen, but analogous processes are at work, and the principles described in work on the NMJ provide a valuable context in which to evaluate other synaptogenic mechanisms.

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