Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Sci. Signal., 1 April 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 13, p. ec121
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.113ec121]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Neuroscience Clearing the Cleft

Peter Stern

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Ionic currents through postsynaptic receptors can produce an electric field inside the synaptic cleft, which raises the possibility that they can affect the dwell time of electrically charged neurotransmitters. Sylantyev et al. analyzed excitatory postsynaptic currents in acute rat brain slice cultures and in cultured neurons. Electric fields present in the extracellular space of the synaptic cleft generated by open ion channels during synaptic transmission accelerated diffusion of charged glutamate molecules out of the cleft via electrodiffusion, which altered signal integration in hippocampal pyramidal cells.

S. Sylantyev, L. P. Savtchenko, Y.-P. Niu, A. I. Ivanov, T. P. Jensen, D. M. Kullmann, M.-Y. Xiao, D. A. Rusakov, Electric fields due to synaptic currents sharpen excitatory transmission. Science 319, 1845-1849 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. Stern, Clearing the Cleft. Sci. Signal. 1, ec121 (2008).


To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882