Saturation of postsynaptic glutamate receptors after quantal release of transmitter

Neuron. 1994 Dec;13(6):1385-93. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(94)90423-5.


Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were elicited from small numbers of release sites after brief microperfusion of Ba2+ and K+ onto proximal dendritic processes of hippocampal neurons in culture. Temporal summation of closely timed mEPSCs deviated significantly from linearity. The number of instances of closely timed mEPSCs that were also closely matched in terms of peak amplitudes was significantly greater than that expected by chance. Amplitude pairing became statistically more significant after prolongation of mEPSC duration and inhibition of glutamate receptor desensitization with cyclothiazide. These results are best explained by postsynaptic receptors that approach saturation after quantal release of transmitter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Barium / pharmacology
  • Benzothiadiazines / pharmacology
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / embryology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Membranes / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Time Factors


  • Benzothiadiazines
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Barium
  • cyclothiazide
  • Potassium