Adenosine inhibits voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx in cone photoreceptor terminals of the tiger salamander retina.
ABSTRACT: Endogenous adenosine has already been shown to inhibit transmitter release from the rod synapse by suppressing Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. However, it is not clear how adenosine modulates the cone synapse. Cone photoreceptors, like rod photoreceptors, also possess L-type Ca(2+) channels that regulate the release of L-glutamate. To assess the impact of adenosine on Ca(2+) influx though voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in cone terminals, whole-cell perforated-patch clamp recording and Ca(2+) imaging with fluo-4 were used on isolated cones and salamander retinal slices. Synaptic markers (VAMP and piccolo) and activity-dependent dye labeling revealed that tiger salamander cone terminals contain a broad, vesicle-filled cytoplasmic extension at the base of the somatic compartment, which is unlike rod terminals that contain one or more thin axons, each terminating in a large bulbous synaptic terminal. The spatiotemporal Ca(2+) responses of the cone terminals do not differ significantly from the Ca(2+) responses of the soma or inner segment like that observed in rods. Whole-cell recording of cone I(Ca) and Ca(2+) imaging of synaptic terminals in cones demonstrate that adenosine inhibited both I(Ca) and the depolarization-evoked Ca(2+) increase in cone terminals in a dose-dependent manner from 1 to 50 muM. These results indicate that, as in rods, adenosine's ability to suppress voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels at the cone synapse will limit the amount of L-glutamate released. Therefore, adenosine has an inhibitory effect on L-glutamate release at the first synapse, which likely favors elevated adenosine levels in the dark or during dark-adapted conditions.
Project description:?2?-4 is an auxiliary subunit of voltage-gated Cav1.4 L-type channels that regulate the development and mature exocytotic function of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. In humans, mutations in the CACNA2D4 gene encoding ?2?-4 cause heterogeneous forms of vision impairment in humans, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of which remain unclear. To investigate the retinal function of ?2?-4, we used genome editing to generate an ?2?-4 knock-out (?2?-4 KO) mouse. In male and female ?2?-4 KO mice, rod spherules lack ribbons and other synaptic hallmarks early in development. Although the molecular organization of cone synapses is less affected than rod synapses, horizontal and cone bipolar processes extend abnormally in the outer nuclear layer in ?2?-4 KO retina. In reconstructions of ?2?-4 KO cone pedicles by serial block face scanning electron microscopy, ribbons appear normal, except that less than one-third show the expected triadic organization of processes at ribbon sites. The severity of the synaptic defects in ?2?-4 KO mice correlates with a progressive loss of Cav1.4 channels, first in terminals of rods and later cones. Despite the absence of b-waves in electroretinograms, visually guided behavior is evident in ?2?-4 KO mice and better under photopic than scotopic conditions. We conclude that ?2?-4 plays an essential role in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of rod and cone synapses, the disruption of which may contribute to visual impairment in humans with CACNA2D4 mutations.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the retina, visual information is first communicated by the synapse formed between photoreceptors and second-order neurons. The mechanisms that regulate the structural integrity of this synapse are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate a role for ?2?-4, a subunit of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, in organizing the structure and function of photoreceptor synapses. We find that presynaptic Ca2+ channels are progressively lost and that rod and cone synapses are disrupted in mice that lack ?2?-4. Our results suggest that alterations in presynaptic Ca2+ signaling and photoreceptor synapse structure may contribute to vision impairment in humans with mutations in the CACNA2D4 gene encoding ?2?-4.
Project description:Synaptic signaling complexes are held together by scaffold proteins, each of which is selectively capable of interacting with a number of other proteins. In previous studies of rabbit retina, we found Synapse-Associated Protein-102 (SAP102) and Channel Associated Protein of Synapse-110 (Chapsyn110) selectively localized in the tips of horizontal cell processes at contacts with rod and cone photoreceptors, along with several interacting ion channels. We have examined the equivalent suites of proteins in mouse retina and found similarities and differences. In the mouse retina we identified Chapsyn110 as the scaffold selectively localized in the tips of horizontal cells contacting photoreceptors, with Sap102 more diffusely present. As in rabbit, the inward rectifier potassium channel Kir2.1 was present with Chapsyn110 on the tips of horizontal cell dendrites within photoreceptor invaginations, where it could provide a hyperpolarization-activated current that could contribute to ephaptic signaling in the photoreceptor synapses. Pannexin 1 and Pannexin 2, thought to play a role in ephaptic and/or pH mediated signaling, were present in the outer plexiform layer, but likely not in the horizontal cells. Polyamines regulate many ion channels and control the degree of rectification of Kir2.1 by imposing a voltage-dependent block. During the day polyamine immunolabeling was unexpectedly high in photoreceptor terminals compared to other areas of the retina. This content was significantly lower at night, when polyamine content was predominantly in Müller glia, indicating daily rhythms of polyamine content. Both rod and cone terminals displayed the same rhythm. While polyamine content was not prominent in horizontal cells, if polyamines are released, they may regulate the activity of Kir2.1 channels located in the tips of HCs. The rhythmic change in polyamine content of photoreceptor terminals suggests that a daily rhythm tunes the behavior of suites of ion channels within the photoreceptor synapses.
Project description:The first synapse of the visual pathway is formed by photoreceptors, horizontal cells and bipolar cells. While ON bipolar cells invaginate into the photoreceptor terminal and form synaptic triads together with invaginating horizontal cell processes, OFF bipolar cells make flat contacts at the base of the terminal. When horizontal cells are ablated during retina development, no invaginating synapses are formed in rod photoreceptors. However, how cone photoreceptors and their synaptic connections with bipolar cells react to this insult, is unclear so far. To answer this question, we specifically ablated horizontal cells from the developing mouse retina. Following ablation around postnatal day 4 (P4)/P5, cones initially exhibited a normal morphology and formed flat contacts with OFF bipolar cells, but only few invaginating contacts with ON bipolar cells. From P15 on, synaptic remodeling became obvious with clustering of cone terminals and mislocalized cone somata in the OPL. Adult cones (P56) finally displayed highly branched axons with numerous terminals which contained ribbons and vesicular glutamate transporters. Furthermore, type 3a, 3b, and 4 OFF bipolar cell dendrites sprouted into the outer nuclear layer and even expressed glutamate receptors at the base of newly formed cone terminals. These results indicate that cones may be able to form new synapses with OFF bipolar cells in adult mice. In contrast, cone terminals lost their invaginating contacts with ON bipolar cells, highlighting the importance of horizontal cells for synapse maintenance. Taken together, our data demonstrate that early postnatal horizontal cell ablation leads to differential remodeling in the cone pathway: whereas synapses between cones and ON bipolar cells were lost, new putative synapses were established between cones and OFF bipolar cells. These results suggest that synapse formation and maintenance are regulated very differently between flat and invaginating contacts at cone terminals.
Project description:Vesicle release from photoreceptor ribbon synapses is regulated by L-type Ca(2+) channels, which are in turn regulated by Cl(-) moving through calcium-activated chloride [Cl(Ca)] channels. We assessed the proximity of Ca(2+) channels to release sites and Cl(Ca) channels in synaptic terminals of salamander photoreceptors by comparing fast (BAPTA) and slow (EGTA) intracellular Ca(2+) buffers. BAPTA did not fully block synaptic release, indicating some release sites are <100 nm from Ca(2+) channels. Comparing Cl(Ca) currents with predicted Ca(2+) diffusion profiles suggested that Cl(Ca) and Ca(2+) channels average a few hundred nanometers apart, but the inability of BAPTA to block Cl(Ca) currents completely suggested some channels are much closer together. Diffuse immunolabeling of terminals with an antibody to the putative Cl(Ca) channel TMEM16A supports the idea that Cl(Ca) channels are dispersed throughout the presynaptic terminal, in contrast with clustering of Ca(2+) channels near ribbons. Cl(Ca) currents evoked by intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) elevation through flash photolysis of DM-nitrophen exhibited EC(50) values of 556 and 377 nM with Hill slopes of 1.8 and 2.4 in rods and cones, respectively. These relationships were used to estimate average submembrane [Ca(2+)](i) in photoreceptor terminals. Consistent with control of exocytosis by [Ca(2+)] nanodomains near Ca(2+) channels, average submembrane [Ca(2+)](i) remained below the vesicle release threshold (? 400 nM) over much of the physiological voltage range for cones. Positioning Ca(2+) channels near release sites may improve fidelity in converting voltage changes to synaptic release. A diffuse distribution of Cl(Ca) channels may allow Ca(2+) influx at one site to influence relatively distant Ca(2+) channels.
Project description:Ca<sub>V</sub>1.4 L-type calcium channels are predominantly expressed in photoreceptor terminals playing a crucial role for synaptic transmission and, consequently, for vision. Human mutations in the encoding gene are associated with congenital stationary night blindness type-2. Besides rod-driven scotopic vision also cone-driven photopic responses are severely affected in patients. The present study therefore examined functional and morphological changes in cones and cone-related pathways in mice carrying the Ca<sub>V</sub>1.4 gain-of function mutation I756T (Ca<sub>V</sub>1.4-IT) using multielectrode array, patch-clamp and immunohistochemical analyses. Ca<sub>V</sub>1.4-IT ganglion cell responses to photopic stimuli were seen only in a small fraction of cells indicative of a major impairment in the cone pathway. Though cone photoreceptors underwent morphological rearrangements, they retained their ability to release glutamate. Our functional data suggested a postsynaptic cone bipolar cell defect, supported by the fact that the majority of cone bipolar cells showed sprouting, while horizontal cells maintained contacts with cones and cone-to-horizontal cell input was preserved. Furthermore a reduction of basal Ca<sup>2+</sup> influx by a calcium channel blocker was not sufficient to rescue synaptic transmission deficits caused by the Ca<sub>V</sub>1.4-IT mutation. Long term treatments with low-dose Ca<sup>2+</sup> channel blockers might however be beneficial reducing Ca<sup>2+</sup> toxicity without major effects on ganglion cells responses.
Project description:Calcium is a messenger ion that controls all aspects of cone photoreceptor function, including synaptic release. The dynamic range of the cone output extends beyond the activation threshold for voltage-operated calcium entry, suggesting another calcium influx mechanism operates in cones hyperpolarized by light. We have used optical imaging and whole-cell voltage clamp to measure the contribution of store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) to Ca(2+) homeostasis and its role in regulation of neurotransmission at cone synapses. Mn(2+) quenching of Fura-2 revealed sustained divalent cation entry in hyperpolarized cones. Ca(2+) influx into cone inner segments was potentiated by hyperpolarization, facilitated by depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores, unaffected by pharmacological manipulation of voltage-operated or cyclic nucleotide-gated Ca(2+) channels and suppressed by lanthanides, 2-APB, MRS 1845 and SKF 96365. However, cation influx through store-operated channels crossed the threshold for activation of voltage-operated Ca(2+) entry in a subset of cones, indicating that the operating range of inner segment signals is set by interactions between store- and voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels. Exposure to MRS 1845 resulted in approximately 40% reduction of light-evoked postsynaptic currents in photopic horizontal cells without affecting the light responses or voltage-operated Ca(2+) currents in simultaneously recorded cones. The spatial pattern of store-operated calcium entry in cones matched immunolocalization of the store-operated sensor STIM1. These findings show that store-operated channels regulate spatial and temporal properties of Ca(2+) homeostasis in vertebrate cones and demonstrate their role in generation of sustained excitatory signals across the first retinal synapse.
Project description:High-voltage activated Ca channels participate in multiple cellular functions, including transmitter release, excitation, and gene transcription. Ca channels are heteromeric proteins consisting of a pore-forming ?(1) subunit and auxiliary ?(2)? and ? subunits. Although there are reports of ?(2)?(4) subunit mRNA in the mouse retina and localization of the ?(2)?(4) subunit immunoreactivity to salamander photoreceptor terminals, there is a limited overall understanding of its expression and localization in the retina. ?(2)?(4) subunit expression and distribution in the mouse and rat retina were evaluated by using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and immunohistochemistry with specific primers and a well-characterized antibody to the ?(2)?(4) subunit. ?(2)?(4) subunit mRNA and protein are present in mouse and rat retina, brain, and liver homogenates. Immunostaining for the ?(2)?(4) subunit is mainly localized to Müller cell processes and endfeet, photoreceptor terminals, and photoreceptor outer segments. This subunit is also expressed in a few displaced ganglion cells and bipolar cell dendrites. These findings suggest that the ?(2)?(4) subunit participates in the modulation of L-type Ca(2+) current regulating neurotransmitter release from photoreceptor terminals and Ca(2+)-dependent signaling pathways in bipolar and Müller cells.
Project description:Synaptogenesis involves the transformation of a growth cone into synaptic boutons specialized for transmitter release. In Drosophila embryos lacking the alpha(2)delta-3 subunit of presynaptic, voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, we found that motor neuron terminals failed to develop synaptic boutons and cytoskeletal abnormalities arose, including the loss of ankyrin2. Nevertheless, functional presynaptic specializations were present and apposed to clusters of postsynaptic glutamate receptors. The alpha(2)delta-3 protein has been thought to function strictly as an auxiliary subunit of the Ca(2+) channel, but the phenotype of alpha(2)delta-3 (also known as stj) mutations cannot be explained by a channel defect; embryos lacking the pore-forming alpha(1) subunit cacophony formed boutons. The synaptogenic function of alpha(2)delta-3 required only the alpha(2) peptide, whose expression sufficed to rescue bouton formation. Our results indicate that alpha(2)delta proteins have functions that are independent of their roles in the biophysics and localization of Ca(2+) channels and that synaptic architecture depends on these functions.
Project description:Inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells (HCs) to cones generates center-surround receptive fields and color opponency in the retina. Mechanisms of HC feedback remain unsettled, but one hypothesis proposes that an ephaptic mechanism may alter the extracellular electrical field surrounding photoreceptor synaptic terminals, thereby altering Ca(2+) channel activity and photoreceptor output. An ephaptic voltage change produced by current flowing through open channels in the HC membrane should occur with no delay. To test for this mechanism, we measured kinetics of inhibitory feedback currents in Ambystoma tigrinum cones and rods evoked by hyperpolarizing steps applied to synaptically coupled HCs. Hyperpolarizing HCs stimulated inward feedback currents in cones that averaged 8-9 pA and exhibited a biexponential time course with time constants averaging 14-17 ms and 120-220 ms. Measurement of feedback-current kinetics was limited by three factors: (1) HC voltage-clamp speed, (2) cone voltage-clamp speed, and (3) kinetics of Ca(2+) channel activation or deactivation in the photoreceptor terminal. These factors totaled ?4-5 ms in cones meaning that the true fast time constants for HC-to-cone feedback currents were 9-13 ms, slower than expected for ephaptic voltage changes. We also compared speed of feedback to feedforward glutamate release measured at the same cone/HC synapses and found a latency for feedback of 11-14 ms. Inhibitory feedback from HCs to rods was also significantly slower than either measurement kinetics or feedforward release. The finding that inhibitory feedback from HCs to photoreceptors involves a significant delay indicates that it is not due to previously proposed ephaptic mechanisms.Lateral inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells (HCs) to photoreceptors creates center-surround receptive fields and color-opponent interactions. Although underlying mechanisms remain unsettled, a longstanding hypothesis proposes that feedback is due to ephaptic voltage changes that regulate photoreceptor synaptic output by altering Ca(2+) channel activity. Ephaptic processes should occur with no delay. We measured kinetics of inhibitory feedback currents evoked in photoreceptors with voltage steps applied to synaptically coupled HCs and found that feedback is too slow to be explained by ephaptic voltage changes generated by current flowing through continuously open channels in HC membranes. By eliminating the proposed ephaptic mechanism for HC feedback regulation of photoreceptor Ca(2+) channels, our data support earlier proposals that synaptic cleft pH changes are more likely responsible.
Project description:The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are subthreshold, voltage-gated ion channels that are highly expressed in hippocampal and cortical pyramidal cell dendrites, where they are important for regulating synaptic potential integration and plasticity. We found that HCN1 subunits are also localized to the active zone of mature asymmetric synaptic terminals targeting mouse entorhinal cortical layer III pyramidal neurons. HCN channels inhibited glutamate synaptic release by suppressing the activity of low-threshold voltage-gated T-type (Ca(V)3.2) Ca²(+) channels. Consistent with this, electron microscopy revealed colocalization of presynaptic HCN1 and Ca(V)3.2 subunit. This represents a previously unknown mechanism by which HCN channels regulate synaptic strength and thereby neural information processing and network excitability.