Corelease of Two Fast Neurotransmitters at a Central Synapse

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Science  17 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5375, pp. 419-424
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5375.419

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It is widely accepted that individual neurons in the central nervous system release only a single fast transmitter. The possibility of corelease of fast neurotransmitters was examined by making paired recordings from synaptically connected neurons in spinal cord slices. Unitary inhibitory postsynaptic currents generated at interneuron-motoneuron synapses consisted of a strychnine-sensitive, glycine receptor–mediated component and a bicuculline-sensitive, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor–mediated component. These results indicate that spinal interneurons release both glycine and GABA to activate functionally distinct receptors in their postsynaptic target cells. A subset of miniature synaptic currents also showed both components, consistent with corelease from individual synaptic vesicles.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jonasp{at} †On sabbatical leave from II. Physiologisches Institut, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

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