The synaptic clefts are really small, but the neurones which they are between do not touch even against forces like gravity.

What really prevents them from coming into direct contact at the synapse, and also what would happen if they did come into contact?

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    $\begingroup$ In which type of synapse? In electrical synapses they are in direct contact, in chemical synapses the basal lamina anchors them. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I was referring to chemical synapses. I will try to find out more about the basal lamina. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ I think there is nothing preventing neurons from touching each other but there is nothing also binding them together. Usually, cells have tight junctions that bind them tight to each other, the lack of which would assume a synapse-like cleft. Beware, the rest of the neuron is scaffolded by glia and the like. No references, just intuition and discussion - hence just a comment $\endgroup$
    – Polisetty
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 20:59


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