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Sci. STKE, 2 December 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 211, p. pe54
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2112003pe54]

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Miniature Transmitter Release: Accident of Nature or Careful Design?

Yo Otsu1,2 and Timothy H. Murphy1,2,3*

1Kinsmen Laboratory and Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z3.
2Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z3.
3Department of Physiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z3.

Abstract: Miniature transmitter release results from the constitutive low-level release of individual vesicles of neurotransmitter. Since the 1950s, this form of synaptic transmission has largely been thought to reflect a leaky evoked-release mechanism, and it was not clear whether it had a function of its own. Recent data challenge this view and suggest that miniature release can affect both the local chemistry of synapses and the network properties of neurons.

*Corresponding author. Telephone, 604-822-0705; fax, 604-822-7981; e-mail,thmurphy{at}interchange.ubc.ca.

Citation: Y. Otsu, T. H. Murphy, Miniature Transmitter Release: Accident of Nature or Careful Design? Sci. STKE 2003, pe54 (2003).

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