Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2009 Dec 16;29(50):15878-87. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4210-09.2009.

Activity-dependent vesicular monoamine transporter-mediated depletion of the nucleus supports somatic release by serotonin neurons.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


Packaging by the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) is essential for mood-controlling serotonin transmission but has not been assayed during activity. Here, two-photon imaging of the fluorescent serotonin analog 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine and three-photon imaging of endogenous serotonin were used to study vesicular packaging as it supports release from the soma of serotonin neurons. Glutamate receptor activation in dorsal raphe brain slice evoked somatic release that was mediated solely by vesicle exocytosis. This release was accompanied by VMAT-mediated serotonin depletion from the nucleus, a large compartment free of monoaminergic degradation pathways that has not been implicated in neurotransmission previously. Finally, while some monoamine packaged at rest was held in reserve, monoamine packaged during stimulation was released completely. Hence, somatic vesicles loaded by VMAT during activity rapidly undergo exocytosis. In the absence of active zones and with limited neurotransmitter reuptake, somatic release by serotonin neurons is supported by recruitment from a large pool of extravesicular serotonin in the nucleus and cytoplasm, and preferential release of the newly packaged transmitter.


SERT; VMAT2; fluorescent false neurotransmitter; multiphoton microscopy; somatodendritic release; vesicular transport

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center