Multivesicular release and saturation of glutamatergic signalling at retinal ribbon synapses

J Physiol. 2007 Apr 1;580(Pt 1):23-9. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2006.125302. Epub 2007 Jan 11.


Pronounced multivesicular release (MVR) occurs at the ribbon synapses of sensory neurones that signal via graded potential changes. As MVR increases the likelihood of postsynaptic receptor saturation, it is of interest to consider how sensory synapses overcome this problem and use MVR to encode signals of widely varying intensities. Here, I discuss three postsynaptic mechanisms that permit three different retinal synapses to utilize MVR.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / physiology
  • Animals
  • Glutamates / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Glutamates