Rod photoreceptors (PRs) use ribbon synapses to transmit visual information. To signal 'no light detected' they release glutamate continually to activate post-synaptic receptors. When light is detected glutamate release pauses. How a rod's individual ribbon enables this process was studied here by recording evoked changes in whole-cell membrane capacitance from wild type and ribbonless (Ribeye-ko) mice. Wild type rods filled with high (10 mM) or low (0.5 mM) concentrations of the Ca2+-buffer EGTA created a readily releasable pool (RRP) of 87 synaptic vesicles (SVs) that emptied as a single kinetic phase with a τ < 0.4 msec. The lower concentration of EGTA accelerated Cav channel opening and facilitated release kinetics. In contrast, ribbonless rods created a much smaller RRP of 22 SVs, and they lacked Cav channel facilitation; however, Ca2+ channel-release coupling remained tight. These release deficits caused a sharp attenuation of rod-driven light responses. We conclude that the synaptic ribbon facilitates Ca2+-influx and establishes a large RRP of SVs.
All analytic tools are described in the Methods section, and they are commercially available. All data and statistical analyses are described throughout the manuscript and in the Methods.
- Tobias Moser
- Tobias Moser
- Tobias Moser
- Tobias Moser
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 complied with national animal care guidelines and were approved by the University of Götingen Board for Animal Welfare and the Animal Welfare Office of the State of Lower Saxony (permit number: 14-1391).
- Fred Rieke, University of Washington, United States
© 2021, Grabner & Moser
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.
Several discrete groups of feeding-regulated neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (nucleus tractus solitarius; NTS) suppress food intake, including avoidance-promoting neurons that express Cck (NTSCck cells) and distinct Lepr- and Calcr-expressing neurons (NTSLepr and NTSCalcr cells, respectively) that suppress food intake without promoting avoidance. To test potential synergies among these cell groups we manipulated multiple NTS cell populations simultaneously. We found that activating multiple sets of NTS neurons (e.g., NTSLepr plus NTSCalcr (NTSLC), or NTSLC plus NTSCck (NTSLCK)) suppressed feeding more robustly than activating single populations. While activating groups of cells that include NTSCck neurons promoted conditioned taste avoidance (CTA), NTSLC activation produced no CTA despite abrogating feeding. Thus, the ability to promote CTA formation represents a dominant effect but activating multiple non-aversive populations augments the suppression of food intake without provoking avoidance. Furthermore, silencing multiple NTS neuron groups augmented food intake and body weight to a greater extent than silencing single populations, consistent with the notion that each of these NTS neuron populations plays crucial and cumulative roles in the control of energy balance. We found that silencing NTSLCK neurons failed to blunt the weight-loss response to vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) and that feeding activated many non-NTSLCK neurons, however, suggesting that as-yet undefined NTS cell types must make additional contributions to the restraint of feeding.
Postsynaptic mitochondria are critical for the development, plasticity, and maintenance of synaptic inputs. However, their relationship to synaptic structure and functional activity is unknown. We examined a correlative dataset from ferret visual cortex with in vivo two-photon calcium imaging of dendritic spines during visual stimulation and electron microscopy reconstructions of spine ultrastructure, investigating mitochondrial abundance near functionally and structurally characterized spines. Surprisingly, we found no correlation to structural measures of synaptic strength. Instead, we found that mitochondria are positioned near spines with orientation preferences that are dissimilar to the somatic preference. Additionally, we found that mitochondria are positioned near groups of spines with heterogeneous orientation preferences. For a subset of spines with a mitochondrion in the head or neck, synapses were larger and exhibited greater selectivity to visual stimuli than those without a mitochondrion. Our data suggest mitochondria are not necessarily positioned to support the energy needs of strong spines, but rather support the structurally and functionally diverse inputs innervating the basal dendrites of cortical neurons.