Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2009 Jun 12;324(5933):1441-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1172278. Epub 2009 May 7.

Fluorescent false neurotransmitters visualize dopamine release from individual presynaptic terminals.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


The nervous system transmits signals between neurons via neurotransmitter release during synaptic vesicle fusion. In order to observe neurotransmitter uptake and release from individual presynaptic terminals directly, we designed fluorescent false neurotransmitters as substrates for the synaptic vesicle monoamine transporter. Using these probes to image dopamine release in the striatum, we made several observations pertinent to synaptic plasticity. We found that the fraction of synaptic vesicles releasing neurotransmitter per stimulus was dependent on the stimulus frequency. A kinetically distinct "reserve" synaptic vesicle population was not observed under these experimental conditions. A frequency-dependent heterogeneity of presynaptic terminals was revealed that was dependent in part on D2 dopamine receptors, indicating a mechanism for frequency-dependent coding of presynaptic selection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk