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Presynaptic depolarization rate controls transmission at an invertebrate synapse

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Simmons


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Second-order neurons L1-3 of the locust ocellar pathway make inhibitory synapses with each other. Although the synapses transmit graded potentials, transmission depresses rapidly and completely so that a synapse only transmits when the presynaptic terminal depolarizes rapidly. The rate at which a presynaptic neuron depolarizes determines the rate at which a postsynaptic neuron hyperpolarizes, and neurotransmitter is only released during a fixed 2 ms long period. Consequently, the amplitude of a postsynaptic potential depends on the rate rather than the amplitude of a presynaptic depolarization. Following a postsynaptic potential, a synapse recovers from depression over about a second. The synapse recovers from depression even if the presynaptic terminal is held depolarized.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Simmons PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuron

Year: 2002

Volume: 35

Issue: 4

Pages: 749-758

ISSN (print): 0896-6273

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4199

Publisher: Cell Press


DOI: 10.1016/S0896-6273(02)00791-2


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