Fast synaptic vesicle reuse slows the rate of synaptic depression in the CA1 region of hippocampus

Mert Ertunc, Yildirim Sara, ChiHye Chung, Deniz Atasoy, Tuhin Virmani, Ege T. Kavalali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


During short-term synaptic depression, neurotransmission rapidly decreases in response to repetitive action potential firing. Here, by blocking the vacuolar ATPase, alkalinizing the extracellular pH, or exposing hippocampal slices to pH buffers, we impaired neurotransmitter refilling, and electrophysiologically tested the role of vesicle reuse in synaptic depression. Under all conditions, synapses onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells showed faster depression with increasing stimulation frequencies. At 20 Hz, compromising neurotransmitter refilling increased depression within 300 ms reaching completion within 2 s, suggesting a minimal contribution of reserve vesicles to neurotransmission. In contrast, at 1 Hz, depression emerged gradually and became significant within 100 s. Moreover, the depression induced by pH buffers was reversible with a similar frequency dependence, suggesting that the frequency-dependent increase in depression was caused by impairment of rapid synaptic vesicle reuse. These results indicate that synaptic vesicle trafficking impacts the kinetics of short-term synaptic plasticity at an extremely rapid time scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-354
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2007


  • CA1
  • Endocytosis
  • Hippocampal slice
  • Schaffer collateral
  • Short term synaptic depression
  • Synaptic vesicle recycling
  • Vesicle reacidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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