Diversity of presynaptic calcium channels displaying different synaptic properties

Rev Neurosci. 2012 Feb 29;23(2):179-90. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2011-0070.


Why mediate P-/Q-type and not N-type Ca2+ channels in cerebellar inhibitory interneurons? Neurotransmitter release relies most on P-/Q- and N-type Ca2+ channels in the vast majority of neurons, although all types of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels are competent in initiating exocytosis. Up to date, it remains unclear why a particular Ca2+ channel type mediates neurotransmission in certain axon terminals and another type of Ca2+ channel evokes neurotransmission in axon terminals of another region. Therefore, the present review analyzes the diversity of presynaptic Ca2+ channels displaying different synaptic properties and focuses on an analysis of distribution and function of presynaptic voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, as well as on developmental changes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bass
  • Calcium Channels, P-Type / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels, Q-Type / metabolism*
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Chickens
  • Exocytosis / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Mice
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Calcium Channels, P-Type
  • Calcium Channels, Q-Type