Heterogeneity of functional synaptic parameters among single release sites

Neuron. 1997 Jul;19(1):139-50. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80354-2.


Following alpha-latrotoxin application to cerebellar slices, bursts of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) were observed in interneurons of the molecular layer. Within bursts, mIPSCs had homogeneous amplitudes with a narrow Gaussian distribution. Analysis of successive event amplitudes revealed an interaction between consecutive IPSCs, indicating that bursts originate at single release sites. A mean receptor occupancy of 76% was calculated. IPSCs within a burst were analyzed using nonstationary noise analysis. The results indicate that individual release sites differ in the number, unitary conductance, and peak opening probability of their postsynaptic channels. In addition, the IPSC decay kinetics were very different among release sites. Finally, a significant correlation was found between several pairs of single site synaptic parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / drug effects
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Interneurons / drug effects*
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Spider Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects*


  • Neurotoxins
  • Spider Venoms
  • alpha-latrotoxin