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PloS one

Dynamic properties of the alkaline vesicle population at hippocampal synapses.


PMID 25079223

Abstract

In compensatory endocytosis, scission of vesicles from the plasma membrane to the cytoplasm is a prerequisite for intravesicular reacidification and accumulation of neurotransmitter molecules. Here, we provide time-resolved measurements of the dynamics of the alkaline vesicle population which appears upon endocytic retrieval. Using fast perfusion pH-cycling in live-cell microscopy, synapto-pHluorin expressing rat hippocampal neurons were electrically stimulated. We found that the relative size of the alkaline vesicle population depended significantly on the electrical stimulus size: With increasing number of action potentials the relative size of the alkaline vesicle population expanded. In contrast to that, increasing the stimulus frequency reduced the relative size of the population of alkaline vesicles. Measurement of the time constant for reacification and calculation of the time constant for endocytosis revealed that both time constants were variable with regard to the stimulus condition. Furthermore, we show that the dynamics of the alkaline vesicle population can be predicted by a simple mathematical model. In conclusion, here a novel methodical approach to analyze dynamic properties of alkaline vesicles is presented and validated as a convenient method for the detection of intracellular events. Using this method we show that the population of alkaline vesicles is highly dynamic and depends both on stimulus strength and frequency. Our results implicate that determination of the alkaline vesicle population size may provide new insights into the kinetics of endocytic retrieval.