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J Neurosci. 2016 Nov 16;36(46):11781-11787.

Activity Induces Fmr1-Sensitive Synaptic Capture of Anterograde Circulating Neuropeptide Vesicles.

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Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, and.
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.
Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, and


Synaptic neuropeptide and neurotrophin stores are maintained by constitutive bidirectional capture of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) as they circulate in and out of the nerve terminal. Activity increases DCV capture to rapidly replenish synaptic neuropeptide stores following release. However, it is not known whether this is due to enhanced bidirectional capture. Here experiments at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where DCVs contain neuropeptides and a bone morphogenic protein, show that activity-dependent replenishment of synaptic neuropeptides following release is evident after inhibiting the retrograde transport with the dynactin disruptor mycalolide B or photobleaching DCVs entering a synaptic bouton by retrograde transport. In contrast, photobleaching anterograde transport vesicles entering a bouton inhibits neuropeptide replenishment after activity. Furthermore, tracking of individual DCVs moving through boutons shows that activity selectively increases capture of DCVs undergoing anterograde transport. Finally, upregulating fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (Fmr1, also called FMRP) acts independently of futsch/MAP-1B to abolish activity-dependent, but not constitutive, capture. Fmr1 also reduces presynaptic neuropeptide stores without affecting activity-independent delivery and evoked release. Therefore, presynaptic motoneuron neuropeptide storage is increased by a vesicle capture mechanism that is distinguished from constitutive bidirectional capture by activity dependence, anterograde selectivity, and Fmr1 sensitivity. These results show that activity recruits a separate mechanism than used at rest to stimulate additional synaptic capture of DCVs for future release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins.


Synaptic release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins depends on presynaptic accumulation of dense-core vesicles (DCVs). At rest, DCVs are captured bidirectionally as they circulate through Drosophila motoneuron terminals by anterograde and retrograde transport. Here we show that activity stimulates further synaptic capture that is distinguished from basal capture by its selectivity for anterograde DCVs and its inhibition by overexpression of the fragile X retardation protein Fmr1. Fmr1 dramatically lowers DCV numbers in synaptic boutons. Therefore, activity-dependent anterograde capture is a major determinant of presynaptic peptide stores.


SPAIM; axonal transport; peptidergic transmission; secretory granule; synaptic capture

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