The synaptic vesicle: cycle of exocytosis and endocytosis

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Jun;16(3):298-304. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.05.006. Epub 2006 May 16.


Synaptic vesicles are clustered at the presynaptic terminal where they fuse and recycle in response to stimulation. Vesicles appear to be sorted into pools, but we do not yet understand how physiologically defined pools relate to morphological pools. The advent of dynamic imaging approaches has led to an appreciation of the regulation of vesicle mobility. Newly endocytosed vesicles are highly mobile but appear to become transiently trapped as they re-enter the recycling pool. Recent experiments indicate that endocytosis might have a constant rate, but limited capacity. How endocytosis is linked to exocytosis remains unclear, although calcium emerges as an important player.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Exocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism
  • Synaptic Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / ultrastructure