The concept of calcium concentration microdomains in synaptic transmission

R. Llinás, M. Sugimori, R. B. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Ever since the initial measurements of presynaptic calcium currents it has been evident that calcium triggers transmitter release quite rapidly. Several models indicate, as did the initial voltage clamp measurements, that the calcium concentration triggering such release could be very high at the entry site and that this concentration should be very short lasting. In order to determine this time course, calcium entry was studied at the squid giant synapse by imaging light emission from n-aequorin-J, intracellularly injected into the presynaptic terminal. The imaging utilized a video system capable of acquiring 4000 frames per sec. The results indicate that the calcium entry, triggered by action potentials, reaches a peak within 200 μsec and has an overall duration of close to 800 μsec, closely matching the duration of the presynaptic calcium current determined by voltage clamp results under similar conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1451
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Squid giant synapse
  • imaging
  • light emission
  • n-aequorin-J

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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