Calcium dependence of synaptic vesicle recycling before and after synaptogenesis

Silvia Coco, Claudia Verderio, Pietro De Camilli, Michela Matteoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using an immunocytochemical assay to monitor synaptic vesicle exocytosis/endocytosis independently of neurotransmitter release, we have investigated some aspects of vesicle recycling in hippocampal neurons at different developmental stages. A calcium- and depolarization-dependent exocytotic/endocytotic recycling of synaptic vesicles was found to take place in neurons already before the formation of synaptic contacts. The analysis of synaptic vesicle recycling at different calcium concentrations revealed the presence of two release components: the first one activated by low calcium concentrations and sustaining vesicle recycling before synaptogenesis, and a second one activated by high calcium concentrations, which is specifically turned on after the establishment of synaptic contacts. These data suggest that formation of synapses correlates with the activation of a putative low- affinity calcium sensor, which allows synaptic vesicle exocytosis to be triggered and turned off over extremely short time scales, in response to large increases in the level of intracellular calcium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1987-1992
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


  • Calcium dependence
  • Exocytosis
  • Synaptic vesicles
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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