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Publication Detail
Independent regulation of basal neurotransmitter release efficacy by variable Ca²+ influx and bouton size at small central synapses.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Ermolyuk YS, Alder FG, Henneberger C, Rusakov DA, Kullmann DM, Volynski KE
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    e1001396, ?
  • Journal:
    PLoS Biol
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Action Potentials, Animals, Axons, Buffers, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Exocytosis, Fluorescence, Neurotransmitter Agents, Presynaptic Terminals, Rats, Synapses, Synaptic Vesicles
The efficacy of action potential evoked neurotransmitter release varies widely even among synapses supplied by the same axon, and the number of release-ready vesicles at each synapse is a major determinant of this heterogeneity. Here we identify a second, equally important, mechanism for release heterogeneity at small hippocampal synapses, the inter-synaptic variation of the exocytosis probability of release-ready vesicles. Using concurrent measurements of vesicular pool sizes, vesicular exocytosis rates, and presynaptic Ca²⁺ dynamics, in the same small hippocampal boutons, we show that the average fusion probability of release-ready vesicles varies among synapses supplied by the same axon with the size of the spike-evoked Ca²⁺ concentration transient. We further show that synapses with a high vesicular release probability exhibit a lower Ca²⁺ cooperativity, arguing that this is a direct consequence of increased Ca²⁺ influx at the active zone. We conclude that variability of neurotransmitter release under basal conditions at small central synapses is accounted for not only by the number of release-ready vesicles, but also by their fusion probabilities, which are set independently of bouton size by variable spike-evoked presynaptic Ca²⁺ influx.
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