What is it about?

It is widely accepted that learning and memory processes depend on synaptic plasticity. However, especially presynaptic forms of plasticity are still not completely understood. In this study we investigated the chemical potentiation of large hippocampal mossy fiber boutons. We combined different high-resolution imaging techniques to investigate the functional and structural correlates of presynaptic potentiation. We found a fast remodelling of synaptic ultrastructure: synaptic vesicles dispersed in the bouton and accumulated at the active zones, while active zone density and synaptic complexity increased. We suggest that the structural rearrangement of synaptic vesicles at release sites might enable long-term increase in synaptic strength.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the mechanism underlying long-term plasticity will help understanding and control circuit remodelling in health and disease.


This work was a team effort from the group of Prof. Dietmar Schmitz at Charité University Hospital to tackle fundamental questions on synaptic plasticity.

Marta Orlando
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

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This page is a summary of: Recruitment of release sites underlies chemical presynaptic potentiation at hippocampal mossy fiber boutons, PLoS Biology, June 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001149.
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