Localization and mobility of omega-conotoxin-sensitive Ca2+ channels in hippocampal CA1 neurons

Science  09 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4909, pp. 1189-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.2543080


Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs) are modulators of synaptic plasticity, oscillatory behavior, and rhythmic firing in brain regions such as the hippocampus. The distribution and lateral mobility of VDCCs on CA1 hippocampal neurons have been determined with biologically active fluorescent and biotinylated derivatives of the selective probe omega-conotoxin in conjunction with circular dityndallism, digital fluorescence imaging, and photobleach recovery microscopy. On noninnervated cell bodies, VDCCs were found to be organized in multiple clusters, whereas after innervation the VDCCs were concentrated and immobilized at synaptic contact sites. On dendrites, VDCC distribution was punctate and was interrupted by extensive bare regions or abruptly terminated. More than 85% of the dendritic VDCCs were found to be immobile by fluorescence photobleach recovery. Thus, before synaptic contact, specific mechanisms target, segregate, and immobilize VDCCs to neuronal cell bodies and to specialized dendritic sites. Regulation of this distribution may be critical in determining the firing activity and integrative properties of hippocampal CA1 neurons.