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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A single packet of transmitter does not saturate postsynaptic glutamate receptors.

Neurotransmitter is stored in synaptic vesicles and released by exocytosis into the synaptic cleft. One of the fundamental questions in central synaptic transmission is whether a quantal packet of transmitter saturates postsynaptic receptors. To address this question, we loaded the excitatory transmitter L-glutamate via whole-cell recording pipettes into the giant nerve terminal, the calyx of Held, in rat brainstem slices. This caused marked potentiations of both quantal and action potential-evoked EPSCs mediated by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. These results directly demonstrate that neither AMPA nor NMDA receptors are saturated by a single packet of transmitter, and indicate that vesicular transmitter content is an important determinant of synaptic efficacy.[1]


  1. A single packet of transmitter does not saturate postsynaptic glutamate receptors. Ishikawa, T., Sahara, Y., Takahashi, T. Neuron (2002) [Pubmed]
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