Spillover of glutamate onto synaptic AMPA receptors enhances fast transmission at a cerebellar synapse

David A. DiGregorio, Z. Nusser, R. Angus Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

165 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diffusion of glutamate from the synaptic cleft can activate high-affinity receptors, but is not thought to contribute to fast AMPA receptor-mediated transmission. Here, we show that single AMPA receptor EPSCs at the cerebellar mossy fiber-granule cell connection are mediated by both direct release of glutamate and rapid diffusion of glutamate from neighboring synapses. Immunogold localization revealed that AMPA receptors are located exclusively in postsynaptic densities, indicating that spillover of glutamate occurs between synaptic contacts. Spillover currents contributed half the synaptic charge and exhibited little trial-to-trial variability. We propose that spillover of glutamate improves transmission efficacy by both increasing the amplitude and duration of the EPSP and reducing fluctuations arising from the probabilistic nature of transmitter release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-533
Number of pages13
JournalNeuron
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2002

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Neurotransmitter Receptor
AMPA Receptors
Synapses
Glutamic Acid
Post-Synaptic Density
Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
Nerve Fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Spillover of glutamate onto synaptic AMPA receptors enhances fast transmission at a cerebellar synapse. / DiGregorio, David A.; Nusser, Z.; Silver, R. Angus.

In: Neuron, Vol. 35, No. 3, 01.08.2002, p. 521-533.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DiGregorio, David A. ; Nusser, Z. ; Silver, R. Angus. / Spillover of glutamate onto synaptic AMPA receptors enhances fast transmission at a cerebellar synapse. In: Neuron. 2002 ; Vol. 35, No. 3. pp. 521-533.
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