Target cell type-dependent differences in presynaptic release probability (Pr) and short-term plasticity are intriguing features of cortical microcircuits that increase the computational power of neuronal networks. Here, we tested the hypothesis that different voltage-gated Ca2+ channel densities in presynaptic active zones (AZs) underlie different Pr values. Two-photon Ca2+ imaging, triple immunofluo-rescent labeling, and 3D electron microscopic (EM) reconstruction of rat CA3 pyramidal cell axon terminals revealed ∼1.7–1.9 times higher Ca2+ inflow per AZ area in high Pr boutons synapsing onto parvalbumin-positive interneurons (INs) than in low Pr boutons synapsing onto mGluR1α-positive INs. EM replica immunogold labeling, however, demonstrated only 1.15 times larger Cav2.1 and Cav2.2 subunit densities in high Pr AZs. Our results indicate target cell type-specific modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channel function or different subunit composition as possible mechanisms underlying the functional differences. In addition, high Pr synapses are also characterized by a higher density of docked vesicles, suggesting that a concerted action of these mechanisms underlies the functional differences.
Éltes, T., Kirizs, T., Nusser, Z., & Holderith, N. (2017). Target cell type-dependent differences in Ca2+ channel function underlie distinct release probabilities at hippocampal glutamatergic terminals. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(7), 1910–1924. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2024-16.2017