Preferential potentiation of fast-releasing synaptic vesicles by cAMP at the calyx of Held
PublisherThe National Academy of Sciences
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DescriptionWe have studied the effects of cAMP on synaptic transmission at the calyx of Held and found that forskolin (an activator of adenylate cyclase) and 8-Br-cAMP (a membrane-permeable analog of cAMP) potentiated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Direct sampling of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) and nonstationary fluctuation analysis showed that mEPSCs were not modulated by cAMP, suggesting that the locus of modulation is presynaptic. Deconvolution was used to examine effects of cAMP on quantal-release rates. By using this method, it was shown recently that release probabilities of readily releasable vesicles are heterogeneous. Here, we show that cAMP selectively increases the number of vesicles with higher release probabilities, whereas a slow component of the EPSC, representing vesicles that fuse more slowly, is unchanged. cAMP increases the apparent Ca(2+) sensitivity for secretion, but this increase does not reflect an increase in release probability necessarily but rather an increase in the number of highly sensitive vesicles.
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