Quantal analysis of the size of excitatory post-synaptic potentials at synapses between hair cells and afferent nerve fibres in goldfish

J Physiol. 1978 Mar;276:211-26. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1978.sp012229.


1. A statistical analysis has been made of the transmitter release at the hair cell afferent fibre synapse in the sacculus of the goldfish, using the amplitude of the excitatory post-synaptic potentials (e.p.s.p.s) in response to stimulus tone as a measure of the transmitter release under application of tetrodotoxin. 2. Application of binomial statistics allowed a direct calculation of the mean probability of release (p) and the readily available store (n), and the X2-test showed that the binomial predictions fitted fairly well with the observed distribution of the responses. 3. Adaptive rundown of e.p.s.p.s during sound stimulation, i.e. the successive rundown in the size of the mean quantal content (m), was found to be associated with a reduction in the size of parameter n, but not of p. 4. A marked negative correlation was demonstrated between the amplitude of two consecutive e.p.s.p.s, supporting the depletion hypothesis of the adaptive rundown of e.p.s.p.s. 5. The increase in the e.p.s.p. amplitude and the increase in the mean quantal content, m, brought about by an increase in the tone intensity were found mostly explicable in terms of an increase in the statistical parameter n. The probability parameter p was found largely in invariable, although in certain instances the increase in m was also accompanied by a slight increase in the parameter p.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyprinidae / physiology*
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / physiology*
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Saccule and Utricle / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiology