Synapses maintain both action potential-evoked and spontaneous neurotransmitter release, however, organization of these two forms of release within an individual synapse remains unclear. Here, we used photobleaching properties of iGluSnFR, a fluorescent probe that detects glutamate, to investigate the subsynaptic organization of evoked and spontaneous release in primary hippocampal cultures. In non-neuronal cells and neuronal dendrites, iGluSnFR fluorescence is intensely photobleached and recovers via diffusion of non-photobleached probes with a time constant of 10 seconds. After photobleaching, while evoked iGluSnFR events could be rapidly suppressed, their recovery required several hours. In contrast, iGluSnFR responses to spontaneous release were comparatively resilient to photobleaching, unless the complete pool of iGluSnFR was activated by glutamate perfusion. This differential effect of photobleaching on different modes of neurotransmission is consistent with a subsynaptic organization where sites of evoked glutamate release are clustered and corresponding iGluSnFR probes are diffusion restricted, while spontaneous release sites are broadly spread across a synapse with readily diffusible iGluSnFR probes.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files; Source Data files have been provided for all Figures and Figure Supplements. The custom Matlab script used to analyse the data is deposited in GitHub (https://github.com/camilleswang/iGluSnFR-Analysis) and is freely available.
- Ege T Kavalali
- Lisa M Monteggia
- Lisa M Monteggia
- Camille S Wang
- Natali L Chanaday
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation: Animal procedures conformed to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Animal Protocol Number M1800103).
- Stephen M Smith, VA Portland Health Care System, United States
© 2022, Wang 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.
Rapid conversion of force into a biological signal enables living cells to respond to mechanical forces in their environment. The force is believed to initially affect the plasma membrane and then alter the behavior of membrane proteins. Phospholipase D2 (PLD2) is a mechanosensitive enzyme that is regulated by a structured membrane-lipid site comprised of cholesterol and saturated ganglioside (GM1). Here we show stretch activation of TWIK-related K+ channel (TREK-1) is mechanically evoked by PLD2 and spatial patterning involving ordered GM1 and 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) clusters in mammalian cells. First, mechanical force deforms the ordered lipids, which disrupts the interaction of PLD2 with the GM1 lipids and allows a complex of TREK-1 and PLD2 to associate with PIP2 clusters. The association with PIP2 activates the enzyme, which produces the second messenger phosphatidic acid (PA) that gates the channel. Co-expression of catalytically inactive PLD2 inhibits TREK-1 stretch currents in a biological membrane. Cellular uptake of cholesterol inhibits TREK-1 currents in culture and depletion of cholesterol from astrocytes releases TREK-1 from GM1 lipids in mouse brain. Depletion of the PLD2 ortholog in flies results in hypersensitivity to mechanical force. We conclude PLD2 mechanosensitivity combines with TREK-1 ion permeability to elicit a mechanically evoked response.
The Hydra nervous system is the paradigm of a ‘simple nerve net’. Nerve cells in Hydra, as in many cnidarian polyps, are organized in a nerve net extending throughout the body column. This nerve net is required for control of spontaneous behavior: elimination of nerve cells leads to polyps that do not move and are incapable of capturing and ingesting prey (Campbell, 1976). We have re-examined the structure of the Hydra nerve net by immunostaining fixed polyps with a novel antibody that stains all nerve cells in Hydra. Confocal imaging shows that there are two distinct nerve nets, one in the ectoderm and one in the endoderm, with the unexpected absence of nerve cells in the endoderm of the tentacles. The nerve nets in the ectoderm and endoderm do not contact each other. High-resolution TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and serial block face SEM (scanning electron microscopy) show that the nerve nets consist of bundles of parallel overlapping neurites. Results from transgenic lines show that neurite bundles include different neural circuits and hence that neurites in bundles require circuit-specific recognition. Nerve cell-specific innexins indicate that gap junctions can provide this specificity. The occurrence of bundles of neurites supports a model for continuous growth and differentiation of the nerve net by lateral addition of new nerve cells to the existing net. This model was confirmed by tracking newly differentiated nerve cells.