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Vesicular Glutamate Transporters 1 and 2 Target to Functionally Distinct Synaptic Release Sites

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Science  18 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5678, pp. 1815-1819
DOI: 10.1126/science.1097468

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Abstract

Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) 1 and 2 show a mutually exclusive distribution in the adult brain that suggests specialization for synapses with different properties of release. Consistent with this distribution, inactivation of the VGLUT1 gene silenced a subset ofexcitatory neurons in the adult. However, the same cell populations exhibited VGLUT1-independent transmission early in life. Developing hippocampal neurons transiently coexpressed VGLUT2 and VGLUT1 at distinct synaptic sites with different short-term plasticity. The loss of VGLUT1 also reduced the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles. Thus, VGLUT1 plays an unanticipated role in membrane trafficking at the nerve terminal.

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