Multivesicular release at Schaffer collateral-CA1 hippocampal synapses

Jason M. Christie, Craig E. Jahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Whether an individual synapse releases single or multiple vesicles of transmitter per action potential is contentious and probably depends on the type of synapse. One possibility is that multivesicular release (MVR) is determined by the instantaneous release probability (Pr) and therefore can be controlled by activity-dependent changes in Pr. We investigated transmitter release across a range of Pr at synapses between Schaffer collaterals (SCs) and CA1 pyramidal cells in acute hippocampal slices using patch-clamp recordings. The size of the synaptic glutamate transient was estimated by the degree of inhibition of AMPA receptor EPSCs with the rapidly equilibrating antagonist γ-D-glutamylglycine. The glutamate transient sensed by AMPA receptors depended on Pr but not spillover, indicating that multiple vesicles are essentially simultaneously released from the same presynaptic active zone. Consistent with an enhanced glutamate transient, increasing Pr prolonged NMDA receptor EPSCs when glutamate transporters were inhibited. We suggest that MVR occurs at SC-CA1 synapses when Pr is elevated by facilitation and that MVR maybe a phenomenon common to many synapses throughout the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2006


  • AMPA receptor
  • EPSC
  • Glutamate spillover
  • Glutamate transporters
  • NMDA receptor
  • Synaptic vesicle release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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