Roles of PKA and PKC in facilitation of evoked and spontaneous transmitter release at depressed and nondepressed synapses in Aplysia sensory neurons

Neuron. 1992 Sep;9(3):479-89. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(92)90185-g.


Two second messenger pathways, one that uses the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA), the other that uses protein kinase C (PKC), have been found to contribute to the short-term presynaptic facilitation of the connections between the sensory neurons in Aplysia and their target cells, the interneurons and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex. To study their relative contributions as a function of the previous history of the neuron's activity, we have examined the effects of inhibiting PKA (using Rp-cAMPS) and PKC (using H7) on the short-term facilitation of spontaneous release as well as of the evoked release induced by serotonin at nondepressed, partially depressed, and highly depressed synapses. Our results suggest that whereas activation of PKA is sufficient to trigger the facilitation of nondepressed synapses, activation of both PKA and PKC is required to facilitate depressed synapses, with the contribution of PKC becoming progressively more important as synaptic transmission becomes more depressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • Animals
  • Aplysia
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electrophysiology
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase C / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Serotonin / pharmacology
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Isoquinolines
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Piperazines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Serotonin
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate
  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • small cardioactive peptide B
  • small cardioactive peptide A
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C