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Neuron. 1994 Nov;13(5):1119-29.

Releasable pools and the kinetics of exocytosis in adrenal chromaffin cells.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101.


Using high resolution capacitance (Cm) measurement techniques, we mapped the kinetics of exocytosis evoked by brief (5-100 ms) depolarizations that activate voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in rat adrenal chromaffin cells. After correcting the Cm signal for contributions from Na+ channel-gating charge movements, the initial kinetics of exocytosis were consistent with depolarization-triggered release occurring initially from an immediately releasable pool of only approximately 17 secretory vesicles. In contrast, repetitive application of longer depolarizations evoked release from a distinct, larger readily releasable pool of approximately 170 vesicles. Our results suggest that the secretory response of a chromaffin cell to an action potential is limited by the size of the immediately releasable pool rather than by a fusion mechanism that is slower than that at synapses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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