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Quantal variability of excitatory transmission in the hippocampus: implications for the opening probability of fast glutamate-gated channels.

Authors
  • Kullmann, D M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
Publication Date
Jul 22, 1993
Volume
253
Issue
1336
Pages
107–116
Identifiers
PMID: 7690483
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The quantal description of synaptic transmission, first formulated at the neuromuscular junction, has recently been extended to the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse of the mammalian hippocampus. In a subset of connections, an upper limit can be placed on the coefficient of variation of the quantal amplitude, on occasion lower than 0.2. In the same connections, the average quantal amplitude implies that fewer than 20 fast glutamate-gated ion channels open to carry the quantal current. With so few channels opening, their stochastic behaviour imposes a minimal trial-to-trial variability on the quantal current. These observations can be reconciled by postulating that most of the available receptors in the synaptic cleft are bound by released transmitter and that ionophores open with a high probability.

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