Exocytosis and Endocytosis of Synaptic Vesicles and Functional Roles of Vesicle Pools: Lessons from the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction
To maintain synaptic transmission during intense neuronal activities, the synaptic vesicle (SV) pool at release sites is effectively replenished by recruitment of SVs from the reserve pool and/or by endocytosis. The authors have studied dynamics of SVs using a fluorescence dye, FM1-43, which is incorporated into SVs during endocytosis and released by exocytosis. Drosophila is one of the most suitable preparations for genetic and pharmacological analyses, and this provides a useful model system. The authors found at the neuromuscular junctions of Drosophila that exocytosis and endocytosis of SVs are triggered by Ca(2+) influx through distinct routes and that selective inhibition of exocytosis or endocytosis resulted in depression of synaptic transmission with a distinct time course. They identified two SV pools in a single presynaptic bouton. The exo/endo cycling pool (ECP) is loaded with FM1-43 during low-frequency stimulation and locates close to release sites in the periphery of boutons, whereas the reserve pool (RP) is loaded and unloaded only during high-frequency stimulation and resides primarily in the center of boutons. The size of ECP closely correlates with the quantal content of evoked release, suggesting that SVs in the ECP are primarily involved in synaptic transmission. SVs in the RP are recruited to synaptic transmission by a process involving the cAMP/PKA cascade during high-frequency stimulation. Cytochalasin D blocked this recruitment process, suggesting involvement of filamentous actin. Endocytosed SVs replenish the ECP during stimulation and the RP after tetanic stimulation. Replenishment of the ECP depends on Ca(2+) influx from external solutions, and that of the RP is initiated by Ca(2+) release from internal stores. Thus, SV dynamics is closely involved in modulation of synaptic efficacy and influences synaptic plasticity.