Heterogeneity of glutamatergic and GABAergic release machinery in cerebral cortex: analysis of synaptogyrin, vesicle-associated membrane protein, and syntaxin

L. Bragina, S. Giovedì, P. Barbaresi, F. Benfenati, F. Conti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To define whether cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic release machineries can be differentiated on the basis of the nature and amount of proteins they express, we studied the degree of co-localization of synaptogyrin (SGYR) 1 and 3, vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) 1 and 2, syntaxin (STX) 1A and 1B in vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT)1-, VGLUT2- and vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT)-positive (+) puncta and synaptic vesicles in the rat cerebral cortex. Co-localization studies showed that SGYR1 and 3 were expressed in about 90% of VGLUT1+, 70% of VGLUT2+ and 80% of VGAT+ puncta; VAMP1 was expressed in approximately 45% of VGLUT1+, 55% of VGLUT2+, and 80% of VGAT+ puncta; VAMP2 in about 95% of VGLUT1+, 75% of VGLUT2+, and 80% of VGAT+ puncta; STX1A in about 65% of VGLUT1+, 30% of VGLUT2+, and 3% of VGAT+ puncta, and STX1B in approximately 45% of VGLUT1+, 35% of VGLUT2+, and 70% of VGAT+ puncta. Immunoisolation studies showed that while STX1A was completely segregated and virtually absent from VGAT synaptic vesicles, STX1B, VAMP1/VAMP2, SGYR1/SGYR3 showed a similar pattern with the highest expression in VGLUT1 immunoisolated vesicles and the lowest in VGAT immunoisolated vesicles. Moreover, we studied the localization of STX1B at the electron microscope and found that a population of axon terminals forming symmetric synapses were STX1B-positive.These results extend our previous observations on the differential expression of presynaptic proteins involved in neurotransmitter release in GABAergic and glutamatergic terminals and indicate that heterogeneity of glutamatergic and GABAergic release machinery can be contributed by both the presence or absence of a given protein in a nerve terminal and the amount of protein expressed by synaptic vesicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-943
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2010



  • synaptogyrins
  • syntaxins
  • VAMP
  • VGAT
  • VGLUT1
  • VGLUT2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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