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Quantal currents evoked by graded intracellular depolarization of crayfish motor axon terminals.

By H L Atwood, H Parnas, I Parnas and J M Wojtowicz


1. Quantal transmitter release was examined at nerve terminals of the excitatory motor axon of the crayfish opener muscle. The magnitude of synaptic currents, recorded with macro-patch electrodes at a nerve terminal, served as a measure of quantal size. Transmitter release was initiated by pulses of depolarizing current applied intracellularly to the axonal terminals after application of tetrodotoxin. Quantal release was altered by a variety of methods and the resulting quantal output and quantal size were measured. 2. Amplitude distributions of quantal events were obtained during experimental manipulations which altered the rate of quantal release by up to 25-fold. These manipulations consisted of: varying pulse amplitude or pulse duration; facilitating the release by prolonged depolarization; and application of a potassium channel blocker, 4-aminopyridine. 3. The amplitude of quantal events is impervious to marked changes in presynaptic depolarization and is not affected by experimental procedures which promote accumulation of calcium ions in the terminals. The vesicular mechanism of release, in which transmitter substance is prepackaged in vesicles which individually undergo exocytosis at a release zone, could account for the observed results

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1987
DOI identifier: 10.1113/jphysiol.1987.sp016430
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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