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Neuron. 1996 Jul;17(1):125-34.

Potentiation of evoked vesicle turnover at individually resolved synaptic boutons.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Beckman Center, Stanford Medical School, California 94305, USA.


We have studied synaptic plasticity in hippocampal cell cultures using a new imaging approach that allows unambiguous discrimination of presynaptic function at the level of single synaptic boutons. Employing a protocol designed to test for use-dependent plasticity resembling N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (NMDA-type LTP), we find that brief tetanic stimuli induce a potentiation of evoked synaptic vesicle turnover that lasts for at least 1 hr. Induction of this clearly presynaptic potentiation is blocked by putative postsynaptic glutamate receptor antagonists, suggesting that a retrograde induction signal might be involved. Potentiation appears to occur approximately equally at boutons of low and high initial release probabilities, and evidently does not involve an increase in the size of the total recycling synaptic vesicle pool.

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