[Seminar] "Counting vesicular release events in simple synapse recordings" by Dr. Alain Marty
Dr. Marty Alain, CNRS and Paris Descartes University
Title: Counting vesicular release events in simple synapse recordings
Much of our present knowledge on the mechanisms of synaptic transmission in central synapses is derived from large synapses such as the calyx of Held, containing many active zones acting in parallel. In recent years our laboratory has developed methods to measure vesicular release in 'simple synapses' that contain a single presynaptic active zone, and a single postsynaptic density of neurotransmitter-sensitive receptors. Studies of simple synapses avoid potential errors linked to receptor saturation and to synaptic jitter. They highlight stochastic properties of synaptic release. Using simple synapse recordings, we have developed a novel two-step release model, where synaptic vesicles transit through two distinct states before exocytosis. The two-step model helps explaining the development of short-term synaptic plasticity during action potential trains, as well as changes in synaptic delays during such trains.