Research Articles

Mechanism of transmitter release: voltage hypothesis and calcium hypothesis

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Science  07 Feb 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4738, pp. 574-579
DOI: 10.1126/science.2868525


The calcium hypothesis of synaptic transmission has been challenged by experimental results using the crayfish neuromuscular junction that suggest that presynaptic depolarization can trigger transmitter release directly without calcium influx. Results from electrophysiological experiments using the same preparation do not support this voltage hypothesis, but are consistent with the calcium hypothesis. Voltage may modulate, but not elicit, transmitter release.