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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Aug 1;4(8):a013680. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a013680.

Synaptic vesicle pools and dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences, Stanford Medical School, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitter at chemical synapses, thus initiating the flow of information in neural networks. To achieve this, vesicles undergo a dynamic cycle of fusion and retrieval to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the presynaptic terminals in which they reside. Moreover, compelling evidence indicates these vesicles differ in their availability for release and mobilization in response to stimuli, prompting classification into at least three different functional pools. Ongoing studies of the molecular and cellular bases for this heterogeneity attempt to link structure to physiology and clarify how regulation of vesicle pools influences synaptic strength and presynaptic plasticity. We discuss prevailing perspectives on vesicle pools, the role they play in shaping synaptic transmission, and the open questions that challenge current understanding.

PMID:
22745285
PMCID:
PMC3405865
DOI:
10.1101/cshperspect.a013680
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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