According to the classical calcium hypothesis of synaptic transmission, the release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic terminals occurs through an exocytotic process triggered by depolarization-induced presynaptic calcium influx. However, evidence has been accumulating in the last two decades indicating that, in many preparations, synaptic transmitter release can persist or even increase when calcium is omitted from the perfusing saline, leading to the notion of a "calcium-independent release" mechanism. Our study shows that the enhancement of synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and horizontal cells of the vertebrate retina induced by low-calcium media is caused by an increase of calcium influx into presynaptic terminals. This paradoxical effect is accounted for by modifications of surface potential on the photoreceptor membrane. Since lowering extracellular calcium concentration may likewise enhance calcium influx into other nerve cells, other experimental observations of "calcium-independent" release may be reaccommodated within the framework of the classical calcium hypothesis without invoking unconventional processes.

Low-calcium-induced enhancement of chemical synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to horizontal cells in the vertebrate retina

PICCOLINO, Marco;PIGNATELLI, Angela;
1996

Abstract

According to the classical calcium hypothesis of synaptic transmission, the release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic terminals occurs through an exocytotic process triggered by depolarization-induced presynaptic calcium influx. However, evidence has been accumulating in the last two decades indicating that, in many preparations, synaptic transmitter release can persist or even increase when calcium is omitted from the perfusing saline, leading to the notion of a "calcium-independent release" mechanism. Our study shows that the enhancement of synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and horizontal cells of the vertebrate retina induced by low-calcium media is caused by an increase of calcium influx into presynaptic terminals. This paradoxical effect is accounted for by modifications of surface potential on the photoreceptor membrane. Since lowering extracellular calcium concentration may likewise enhance calcium influx into other nerve cells, other experimental observations of "calcium-independent" release may be reaccommodated within the framework of the classical calcium hypothesis without invoking unconventional processes.
Piccolino, Marco; Byzov, A.; Kurennyi, D. E.; Pignatelli, Angela; Sappia, F.; Wilkinson, M.; Barnes, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1206761
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