Reversal of synaptic vesicle docking at central synapses

Nat Neurosci. 1999 Jun;2(6):503-7. doi: 10.1038/9149.


We used quantitative fluorescence imaging of vesicles labeled with membrane-soluble dyes to determine rates of undocking and spontaneous exocytosis of vesicles docked to the active zone of hippocampal synapses in culture. Individual vesicles undock about once per two minutes and spontaneously exocytose about once per eight minutes. Thus, not only does undocking occur, but it is over threefold faster than spontaneous fusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • FM1 43
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds