Control of synaptic strength and timing by the release-site Ca2+ signal.
Authors: Bollmann JH, Sakmann B.
CellNetworks People: Bollmann Johann
Journal: "Nat Neurosci. 2005 Apr;8(4):426-34. "

Transmitter release is triggered by highly localized, transient increases in the presynaptic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]). Rapidly decaying [Ca(2+)] elevations were generated using Ca(2+) uncaging techniques, and [Ca(2+)] was measured with a low-affinity Ca(2+) indicator in a giant presynaptic terminal, the calyx of Held, in rat brain slices. The rise time and amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) depended on the half-width of the fluorescence transient, which was predicted by a five-binding site model of a Ca(2+) sensor having relatively high affinity (K(d) approximately 13 microM). Very fast [Ca(2+)] transients (half-width <0.5 ms) evoked EPSCs similar to those elicited by a single action potential (AP) in the same synapse. Triggering release with dual [Ca(2+)] transients of variable amplitudes demonstrated the supralinear transfer function of the sensor. The sensitivity of release to the time course of the [Ca(2+)] transient may contribute to mechanisms by which the presynaptic AP waveform controls synaptic strength.