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Neuron. 2010 Apr 15;66(1):37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.03.020.

A vesicle superpool spans multiple presynaptic terminals in hippocampal neurons.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.


Synapse-specific vesicle pools have been widely characterized at central terminals. Here, we demonstrate a vesicle pool that is not confined to a synapse but spans multiple terminals. Using fluorescence imaging, correlative electron microscopy, and modeling of vesicle dynamics, we show that some recycling pool vesicles at synapses form part of a larger vesicle "superpool." The vesicles within this superpool are highly mobile and are rapidly exchanged between terminals (turnover: approximately 4% of total pool/min), significantly changing vesicular composition at synapses over time. In acute hippocampal slices we show that the mobile vesicle pool is also a feature of native brain tissue. We also demonstrate that superpool vesicles are available to synapses during stimulation, providing an extension of the classical recycling pool. Experiments using focal BDNF application suggest the involvement of a local TrkB-receptor-dependent mechanism for synapse-specific regulation of presynaptic vesicle pools through control of vesicle release and capture to or from the extrasynaptic pool.

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