1. Cell Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Presynaptic morphology and vesicular composition determine vesicle dynamics in mouse central synapses

  1. Laurent Guillaud  Is a corresponding author
  2. Dimitar Dimitrov
  3. Tomoyuki Takahashi  Is a corresponding author
  1. Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - Graduate University, Japan
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e24845 doi: 10.7554/eLife.24845


Transport of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in nerve terminals is thought to play essential roles in maintenance of neurotransmission. To identify factors modulating SV movements, we performed real-time imaging analysis of fluorescently labeled SVs in giant calyceal and conventional hippocampal terminals. Compared with small hippocampal terminals, SV movements in giant calyceal terminals were faster, longer and kinetically more heterogeneous. Morphological maturation of giant calyceal terminals was associated with an overall reduction in SV mobility and displacement heterogeneity. At the molecular level, SVs over-expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1) showed higher mobility than VGLUT2-expressing SVs. Pharmacological disruption of the presynaptic microtubule network preferentially reduced long directional movements of SVs between release sites. Functionally, synaptic stimulation appeared to recruit SVs to active zones without significantly altering their mobility. Hence, the morphological features of nerve terminals and the molecular signature of vesicles are key elements determining vesicular dynamics and movements in central synapses.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Laurent Guillaud

    Cellular and Molecular Synaptic Function Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - Graduate University, Onna, Japan
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9688-0991
  2. Dimitar Dimitrov

    Cellular and Molecular Synaptic Function Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - Graduate University, Onna, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Tomoyuki Takahashi

    Cellular and Molecular Synaptic Function Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology - Graduate University, Onna, Japan
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.


Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

  • Tomoyuki Takahashi

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: All experiments have been performed in accordance to the regulations of OIST animal care and use committee (protocol #2015-128). OIST animal facilities and animal care and use program are accredited by AAALAC International (reference #1551).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Christian Rosenmund, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: January 2, 2017
  2. Accepted: April 18, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 22, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 9, 2017 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: May 12, 2017 (version 3)


© 2017, Guillaud et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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