Spatiotemporal Regulation of Synaptic Vesicle Fusion Sites in Central Synapses

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Abstract

The number and availability of vesicle release sites at the synaptic active zone (AZ) are critical factors governing neurotransmitter release; yet, these fundamental synaptic parameters have remained undetermined. Moreover, how neural activity regulates the spatiotemporal properties of the release sites within individual central synapses is unknown. Here, we combined a nanoscale imaging approach with advanced image analysis to detect individual vesicle fusion events with ∼27 nm localization precision at single hippocampal synapses under physiological conditions. Our results revealed the presence of multiple distinct release sites within individual hippocampal synapses. Release sites were distributed throughout the AZ and underwent repeated reuse. Furthermore, the spatiotemporal properties of the release sites were activity dependent with a reduction in reuse frequency and a shift in location toward the AZ periphery during high-frequency stimulation. These findings have revealed fundamental spatiotemporal properties of individual release sites in small central synapses and their activity-dependent modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73.e3
JournalNeuron
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 5 2017

Keywords

  • active zone
  • exocytosis
  • neurotransmitter release
  • release site
  • synaptic vesicle

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