Synapsin maintains the reserve vesicle pool and spatial segregation of the recycling pool in Drosophila presynaptic boutons

Brain Res. 2007 Oct 31:1178:52-64. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.08.042. Epub 2007 Aug 24.


We employed optical detection of the lipophylic dye FM1-43 and focal recordings of quantal release to investigate how synapsin affects vesicle cycling at the neuromuscular junction of synapsin knockout (Syn KO) Drosophila. Loading the dye employing high K+ stimulation, which presumably involves the recycling pool of vesicles in exo/endocytosis, stained the periphery of wild type (WT) boutons, while in Syn KO the dye was redistributed towards the center of the bouton. When endocytosis was promoted by cyclosporin A pretreatment, the dye uptake was significantly enhanced in WT boutons, and the entire boutons were stained, suggesting staining of the reserve vesicle pool. In Syn KO boutons, the same loading paradigm produced fainter staining and significantly faster destaining. When the axon was stimulated electrically, a distinct difference in dye loading patterns was observed in WT boutons at different stimulation frequencies: a low stimulation frequency (3 Hz) produced a ring-shaped staining pattern, while at a higher frequency (10 Hz) the dye was redistributed towards the center of the bouton and the fluorescence intensity was significantly increased. This difference in staining patterns was essentially disrupted in Syn KO boutons, although synapsin did not affect the rate of quantal release. Stimulation of the nerve in the presence of bafilomycin, the blocker of the transmitter uptake, produced significantly stronger depression in Syn KO boutons. These results, taken together, suggest that synapsin maintains the reserve pool of vesicles and segregation between the recycling and reserve pools, and that it mediates mobilization of the reserve pool during intense stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Larva
  • Macrolides / pharmacology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Receptors, Presynaptic / physiology*
  • Receptors, Presynaptic / ultrastructure
  • Synapsins / genetics
  • Synapsins / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / ultrastructure


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Macrolides
  • Receptors, Presynaptic
  • Synapsins
  • bafilomycin A