The mechanism coupling exocytosis and endocytosis remains to be elucidated at central synapses. Here, we show that the mechanism linking these two processes is dependent on microdomain-[Ca2+](i) similar to that which triggers exocytosis, as well as the exocytotic protein synaptobrevin/VAMP. Furthermore, block of endocytosis has a limited, retrograde action on exocytosis, delaying recruitment of release-ready vesicles and enhancing short-term depression. This effect sets in so rapidly that it cannot be explained by the nonavailability of recycled vesicles. Rather, we postulate that perturbation of a step linking exocytosis and endocytosis temporarily prevents new vesicles from docking at specialized sites for exocytosis.