Synaptic activation of presynaptic glutamate transporter currents in nerve terminals.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Glutamate uptake by high-affinity transporters is responsible for limiting the activation of postsynaptic receptors and maintaining low levels of ambient glutamate. The reuptake process generates membrane currents, which can be activated by synaptically released glutamate in glial cells and some postsynaptic neurons. However, less is known about presynaptic transporter currents because the small size of synaptic boutons precludes direct recordings. Here, we have recorded from two giant nerve terminals: bipolar cell synaptic terminals in goldfish retina and the calyx of Held in rat auditory brainstem. Exocytosis was evoked by brief depolarizations and measured as an increase in membrane capacitance. In isolated bipolar cell terminals, exocytosis was associated with an anion (NO3- or Cl-) current. The current peaked 2.8 msec after the start of the depolarization and decayed with a mean time constant of 8.5 msec. It was inhibited by the nontransportable glutamate transporter antagonist sc-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA) but was insensitive to the GLT1/EAAT2 subtype-selective antagonist dihydrokainate and was affected by extracellular pH buffering. A TBOA-sensitive anion current was also evoked by application of exogenous glutamate to bipolar cell terminals. The large single-channel conductance, derived from noise analysis, and previous immunolocalization studies suggest that synaptically released glutamate activates EAAT5-type transporters in bipolar cell terminals. In contrast, neither exocytosis nor exogenous glutamate evoked a transporter current in the calyx of Held. Glutamate transporter currents with rapid kinetics are therefore identified and characterized in bipolar cell terminals, providing a valuable system for investigating the function and modulation of presynaptic glutamate transporters.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Palmer, MJ; Taschenberger, H; Hull, C; Tremere, L; von Gersdorff, H

Published Date

  • June 15, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 4831 - 4841

PubMed ID

  • 12832505

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3586552

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2401

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-12-04831.2003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States