Research Article

Evidence for Ectopic Neurotransmission at a Neuronal Synapse

Science  15 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5733, pp. 446-451
DOI: 10.1126/science.1108239

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Neurotransmitter release is well known to occur at specialized synaptic regions that include presynaptic active zones and postsynaptic densities. At cholinergic synapses in the chick ciliary ganglion, however, membrane formations and physiological measurements suggest that release distant from postsynaptic densities can activate the predominantly extrasynaptic α7 nicotinic receptor subtype. We explored such ectopic neurotransmission with a novel model synapse that combines Monte Carlo simulations with high-resolution serial electron microscopic tomography. Simulated synaptic activity is consistent with experimental recordings of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents only when ectopic transmission is included in the model, broadening the possibilities for mechanisms of neuronal communication.

    View Full Text

    Cited By...