Distinct pools of synaptic vesicles in neurotransmitter release

Vincent A. Pieribone, Oleg Shupliakov, Lennart Brodin, Sabine Hilfiker-Rothenfluh, Andrew J. Czernik, Paul Greengard

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430 Scopus citations


NERVE terminals are unique among cellular secretory systems in that they can sustain vesicular release at a high rate. Although little is known about the mechanisms that account for the distinctive features of neurotransmitter release, it can be assumed that neuron-specific proteins are involved. One such protein family, the synapsins, are believed to regulate neurotransmitter release through phosphorylation-dependent interactions with synaptic vesicles and cytoskeletal elements1. Here we show that clusters of vesicles at synaptic release sites are composed of two pools, a distal pool containing synapsin and a proximal pool devoid of synapsin and located adjacent to the presynaptic membrane. Pre-synaptic injection of synapsin antibodies resulted in the loss of the distal pool, without any apparent effect on the proximal pool. Depletion of this distal pool was associated with a marked depression of neurotransmitter release evoked by high-frequency (18-20 Hz) but not by low-frequency (0.2 Hz) stimulation. Thus the availability of the synapsin-associated pool of vesicles seems to be required to sustain release of neurotransmitter in response to high-frequency bursts of impulses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-497
Number of pages5
Issue number6531
StatePublished - Jun 8 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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