Spatiotemporal dynamics of multi-vesicular release is determined by heterogeneity of release sites within central synapses.
ABSTRACT: A synaptic active zone (AZ) can release multiple vesicles in response to an action potential. This multi-vesicular release (MVR) occurs at most synapses, but its spatiotemporal properties are unknown. Nanoscale-resolution detection of individual release events in hippocampal synapses revealed unprecedented heterogeneity among vesicle release sites within a single AZ, with a gradient of release probability decreasing from AZ center to periphery. Parallel to this organization, MVR events preferentially overlap with uni-vesicular release (UVR) events at sites closer to an AZ center. Pairs of fusion events comprising MVR are also not perfectly synchronized, and the earlier event tends to occur closer to AZ center. The spatial features of release sites and MVR events are similarly tightened by buffering intracellular calcium. These observations revealed a marked heterogeneity of release site properties within individual AZs, which determines the spatiotemporal features of MVR events and is controlled, in part, by non-uniform calcium elevation across the AZ.
Project description:Primary sensory circuits encode both weak and intense stimuli reliably, requiring that their synapses signal over a wide dynamic range. In the retinal circuitry subserving night vision, processes intrinsic to the rod bipolar (RB) cell presynaptic active zone (AZ) permit the RB synapse to encode signals generated by the absorption of single photons as well as by more intense stimuli. In a study using an in vitro slice preparation of the mouse retina, we provide evidence that the location of Ca channels with low open probability within nanometers of the release sites is a critical determinant of the physiological behavior of the RB synapse. This gives rise to apparent one-to-one coupling between Ca channel opening and vesicle release, allowing presynaptic potential to be encoded linearly over a wide dynamic range. Further, it permits a transition from univesicular to multivesicular release (MVR) when two Ca channels/AZ open at potentials above the threshold for exocytosis. MVR permits small presynaptic voltage changes to elicit postsynaptic responses larger than quantal synaptic noise.
Project description:Whether an individual synapse releases single or multiple vesicles of transmitter per action potential is contentious and probably depends on the type of synapse. One possibility is that multivesicular release (MVR) is determined by the instantaneous release probability (Pr) and therefore can be controlled by activity-dependent changes in Pr. We investigated transmitter release across a range of Pr at synapses between Schaffer collaterals (SCs) and CA1 pyramidal cells in acute hippocampal slices using patch-clamp recordings. The size of the synaptic glutamate transient was estimated by the degree of inhibition of AMPA receptor EPSCs with the rapidly equilibrating antagonist gamma-D-glutamylglycine. The glutamate transient sensed by AMPA receptors depended on Pr but not spillover, indicating that multiple vesicles are essentially simultaneously released from the same presynaptic active zone. Consistent with an enhanced glutamate transient, increasing Pr prolonged NMDA receptor EPSCs when glutamate transporters were inhibited. We suggest that MVR occurs at SC-CA1 synapses when Pr is elevated by facilitation and that MVR may be a phenomenon common to many synapses throughout the CNS.
Project description:At a number of synapses, long-term potentiation (LTP) can be expressed by an increase in presynaptic strength, but it is unknown whether presynaptic LTP is expressed solely through an increase in the probability that a single vesicle is released or whether it can increase multivesicular release (MVR). Here, we show that presynaptic LTP decreases inhibition of AMPA receptor EPSCs by a low-affinity antagonist at parallel fiber-molecular layer interneuron (PF-MLI) synapses. This indicates that LTP induction results in larger glutamate concentration transients in the synaptic cleft, a result indicative of MVR, and suggests that MVR can be modified by long-term plasticity. A similar decrease in inhibition was observed when release probability (PR) was increased by forskolin, elevated extracellular Ca2+, and paired-pulse facilitation. Furthermore, we show that MVR may occur under baseline physiological conditions, as inhibition increased when P(R) was lowered by reducing extracellular Ca2+ or by activating presynaptic adenosine receptors. These results suggest that at PF-MLI synapses, MVR occurs under control conditions and is increased when PR is elevated by both short- and long-term plasticity mechanisms.
Project description:There is a general consensus that synaptic vesicular release by a full collapse process is the primary machinery of synaptic transmission. However, competing view suggests that synaptic vesicular release operates via a kiss-and-run mechanism. By monitoring the release dynamics of a synaptic vesicular marker, FM1-43 from individual synapses in hippocampal neurons, we found evidence that the release of synaptic vesicle was delayed by several seconds after the start of field stimulation. This phenomenon was associated with modified opening kinetics of fusion pores. Detailed analysis revealed that some synapses were completely inactive for a few seconds after stimulation, despite immediate calcium influx. This delay in vesicular release was modulated by various stimulation protocols and different frequencies, indicating an activity-dependent regulation mechanism for neurotransmitter exocytosis. Staurosporine, a drug known to induce "kiss-and-run" exocytosis, increased the proportion of delayed synapses as well as the delay duration, while fluoxetine acted contrarily. Besides being a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, it directly enhanced vesicle mobilization and reduced synaptic fatigue. Exocytosis was never delayed, when it was monitored with pH-sensitive probes, synaptopHlourin and ?Syt-CypHerE5 antibody, indicating an instantaneous formation of a fusion pore that allowed rapid equilibration of vesicular lumenal pH but prevented FM1-43 release because of its slow dissociation from the inner vesicular membrane. Our observations suggest that synapses operate via a sequential "kiss-and-run" and "full-collapse" exocytosis mechanism. The initially narrow vesicular pore allows the equilibration of intravesicular pH which then progresses toward full fusion, causing FM1-43 release.
Project description:A Ca2+ current transient block (ICaTB) by protons occurs at some ribbon-type synapses after exocytosis, but this has not been observed at mammalian hair cells. Here we show that a robust ICaTB occurs at post-hearing mouse and gerbil inner hair cell (IHC) synapses, but not in immature IHC synapses, which contain non-compact active zones, where Ca2+ channels are loosely coupled to the release sites. Unlike ICaTB at other ribbon synapses, ICaTB in mammalian IHCs displays a surprising multi-peak structure that mirrors the EPSCs seen in paired recordings. Desynchronizing vesicular release with intracellular BAPTA or by deleting otoferlin, the Ca2+ sensor for exocytosis, greatly reduces ICaTB, whereas enhancing release synchronization by raising Ca2+ influx or temperature increases ICaTB. This suggests that ICaTB is produced by fast multivesicular proton-release events. We propose that ICaTB may function as a submillisecond feedback mechanism contributing to the auditory nerve's fast spike adaptation during sound stimulation.
Project description: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.
Project description:Relatively little is known about the molecular control of midbrain dopamine release. Using high-fidelity imaging of pHluorin-tagged vesicular monoamine transporter 2 in dopamine neurons, we found that exocytosis was more loosely coupled to calcium entry than in fast synapses. In ventral tegmental area neurons, this allows exocytosis to be efficiently controlled by a native fast calcium buffer, calbindin-D28k, maintaining a lower vesicular release probability compared with substantia nigra neurons.
Project description:Exocytosis can be directly measured in mammalian brain slices by fluorescence detection of vesicular zinc release. Detection of the low-level evoked zinc signal [Zn]t was first demonstrated at the zinc-rich hippocampal mossy fiber pathway and required the use of high-frequency presynaptic stimulation. Here, we show that release after individual action potentials can be reliably detected even at non-mossy fiber, zinc-poor synapses in the hippocampus, a major enhancement in the temporal resolution of the technique. Short-term facilitation of release properties of zinc-positive CA3-CA1 Schaffer collateral/commissural synapses in the stratum radiatum differ from those at mossy fibers but are similar to those measured for the EPSP [field EPSP (fEPSP)]. The N-type Ca2+ channel toxin omega-conotoxin GVIA inhibited both the [Zn]t and fEPSP equally, and the modulation of neurotransmitter release by neuropeptide Y, baclofen, and adenosine as revealed by [Zn]t closely resembles that measured for the fEPSP. A long-standing controversy in hippocampal synaptic plasticity involves the site of long-term depression (LTD) at these synapses. Using zinc release as a direct marker for exocytotic events and a surrogate marker for glutamate release, we demonstrate that persistent depression of presynaptic release occurs in the late expression of DHPG [(S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine]-induced LTD at this synapse. The ability to examine release dynamics with zinc fluorescence detection will facilitate exploration of the molecular pharmacology and plasticity of exocytosis at many CNS synapses.
Project description:The number of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles released into the synaptic cleft with each action potential dictates the reliability of synaptic transmission. Variability of this fundamental property provides diversity of synaptic function across brain regions, but the source of this variability is unclear. The prevailing view is that release of a single (univesicular release, UVR) or multiple vesicles (multivesicular release, MVR) reflects variability in vesicle release probability, a notion that is well-supported by the calcium-dependence of release mode. However, using mouse brain slices, we now demonstrate that the number of vesicles released is regulated by the size of the readily-releasable pool, upstream of vesicle release probability. Our results point to a model wherein protein kinase A and its vesicle-associated target, synapsin, dynamically control release site occupancy to dictate the number of vesicles released without altering release probability. Together these findings define molecular mechanisms that control MVR and functional diversity of synaptic signaling.
Project description:The early auditory pathway processes information at high rates and with utmost temporal fidelity. Consequently, the synapses in the auditory pathway are highly specialized to meet the extraordinary requirements on signal transmission. The calyceal synapses in the auditory brainstem feature more than a hundred active zones (AZs) with thousands of releasable synaptic vesicles (SVs). In contrast, the first auditory synapse, the afferent synapse of inner hair cells (IHCs) and type I spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs), typically exhibits a single ribbon-type AZ tethering only tens of SVs resulting in a highly stochastic pattern of transmitter release. Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), besides more conventional EPSCs with a single peak, fast rise and decay (compact), also include EPSCs with multiple peaks, variable rise and decay times (non-compact). The strong heterogeneity in size and shape of spontaneous EPSCs has led to the hypothesis of multivesicular release (MVR) that is more (compact) or less (non-compact) synchronized by coordination of release sites. Alternatively, univesicular release (UVR), potentially involving glutamate release through a flickering fusion pore for non-compact EPSCs, has been suggested to underlie IHC exocytosis. Here, we further investigated the mode of release by recording sEPSCs from SGNs of hearing rats while manipulating presynaptic IHC Ca2+ influx by changes in extracellular [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]e) and by application of the Ca2+ channel antagonist, isradipine, or the Ca2+ channel agonist, BayK8644 (BayK). Our data reveal that Ca2+ influx manipulation leaves the distributions of sEPSC amplitude and charge largely unchanged. Regardless the type of manipulation, the rate of sEPSC decreased with the reduction in Ca2+ influx. The fraction of compact sEPSCs was increased in the presence of BayK, an effect that was abolished when combined with decreased [Ca2+]e. In conclusion, we propose that UVR is the prevailing mode of exocytosis at cochlear IHCs of hearing rats, whereby the rate of exocytosis and the kinetics of SV fusion are regulated by Ca2+ influx.