Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2010 Sep 8;30(36):11994-2004. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2381-10.2010.

Multivesicular release differentiates the reliability of synaptic transmission between the visual cortex and the somatosensory cortex.

Author information

Independent Junior Research Group Biophysics of Synaptic Transmission, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany.


Neurons in layer 4 (L4) of the cortex play an important role in transferring signals from thalamus to other layers of the cortex. Understanding the fundamental properties of synaptic transmission between L4 neurons helps us gain a clear picture of how the neuronal network in L4 cooperates to process sensory information. In the present study, we have determined the underlying parameters that govern synaptic strength, such as quantal size, size of readily releasable vesicle pool, and release probability (Pr) of excitatory synaptic connections within L4 of the visual cortex (V1) and the somatosensory cortex (S1) in mice. Although only a single vesicle is released per release site under physiological conditions at V1 synapses, multivesicular release (MVR) is observed at S1 synapses. In addition, we observed a saturation of postsynaptic receptors at S1 synapses. Other synaptic properties are similar in both cortices. Dynamic clamp experiments suggest that higher Pr and MVR at S1 synapses lower the requirement of the number of synaptic inputs to generate postsynaptic action potentials. In addition, the slower decay of synaptic current and the intrinsic membrane properties of the postsynaptic neuron also contribute to the reliable transmission between S1 neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center