Potentiation of evoked vesicle turnover at individually resolved synaptic boutons

Neuron. 1996 Jul;17(1):125-34. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80286-x.


We have studied synaptic plasticity in hippocampal cell cultures using a new imaging approach that allows unambiguous discrimination of presynaptic function at the level of single synaptic boutons. Employing a protocol designed to test for use-dependent plasticity resembling N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (NMDA-type LTP), we find that brief tetanic stimuli induce a potentiation of evoked synaptic vesicle turnover that lasts for at least 1 hr. Induction of this clearly presynaptic potentiation is blocked by putative postsynaptic glutamate receptor antagonists, suggesting that a retrograde induction signal might be involved. Potentiation appears to occur approximately equally at boutons of low and high initial release probabilities, and evidently does not involve an increase in the size of the total recycling synaptic vesicle pool.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate / pharmacology
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione / pharmacology
  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate