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Biophys J. 1981 Sep;35(3):573-86.

Divalent cations and transmitter release at low concentration of tetrodotoxin.


Transmitter release from frog motor terminals was studied in the presence of very low concentrations of tetrodotoxin (TTX, 4.10(-10)--6.10(-9) g/ml). TTX reversibly reduced the amplitude of the end-plate potential (epp), while leaving the amplitude distribution to follow Poisson's law. The effects of a number of divalent cations were studied in the presence of TTX. It was found that after the addition of TTX there was an increase in the constant of dissociation of calcium and strontium from a hypothetical membrane "release site," while the dissociation constants of magnesium and manganese remained unaltered. It is concluded that the release site is probably intracellular and that a reduced presynaptic spike amplitude, as well as magnesium and manganese ions, decrease the access of calcium and strontium to the site.

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