Reports

Contributions of two types of calcium channels to synaptic transmission and plasticity

Science  23 Nov 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4984, pp. 1142-1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.2174573

Abstract

In Aplysia sensory and motor neurons in culture, the contributions of the major classes of calcium current can be selectively examined while transmitter release and its modulation are examined. A slowly inactivating, dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium current does not contribute either to normal synaptic transmission or to any of three different forms of plasticity: presynaptic inhibition, homosynaptic depression, and presynaptic facilitation. This current does contribute, however, to a fourth form of plasticity--modulation of transmitter release by tonic depolarization of the sensory neuron. By contrast, a second calcium current, which is rapidly inactivating and dihydropyridine-insensitive, contributes to release elicited by the transient depolarization of an action potential and to the other three forms of plasticity.

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