Release of secretory products during transient vesicle fusion

Nature. 1993 Jun 10;363(6429):554-8. doi: 10.1038/363554a0.


Patch-Camp experiments have shown that fusion of secretory granules with the plasma membrane does not always occur as an all-or-none event, but can develop slowly in a fluctuating manner or can be transient. These observations suggested that release could be detected during such incomplete fusion events. To test this hypothesis we have combined patch-clamp measurements of the activity of single exocytotic fusion pores in beige mouse mast cells with the electrochemical detection of serotonin released during the exocytotic events. We report here that on fusion pore opening there is a small release of serotonin which is directly proportional to the pore conductance. We also show that a significant release occurs during transient fusion events. These results demonstrate, to our knowledge for the first time, release of a neurotransmitter from a secretory vesicle that did not undergo complete fusion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Exocytosis / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Mice
  • Serotonin / metabolism*


  • Serotonin