Miniature Transmitter Release: Accident of Nature or Careful Design?

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Science's STKE  02 Dec 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 211, pp. pe54
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2112003pe54

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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.

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