Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Synaptic Vesicle Queue Jumping

Science's STKE  30 Mar 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 226, pp. tw117-TW117
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2262004TW117

During repetitive nerve stimulation, it has been assumed that synaptic vesicles that are mobilized march up to the presynaptic membrane like little soldiers in formation, and that the first ones out are those lying closest to the membrane. Rizzoli and Betz (see Perspective by Rakic) show in frog motor terminals that the vesicles in the "readily releasable pool" (the first ones out) are scattered almost randomly within the nerve terminal. During their movement to the membrane, they pass hundreds of other less mobile vesicles. These privileged vesicles must thus have distinctive properties, perhaps access to cytoskeletal tracks and motors, that less mobile vesicles lack.

S. O. Rizzoli, W. J. Betz, The structural organization of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Science 303, 2037-2039 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

M. Holt, R. Jahn, Synaptic vesicles in the fast lane. Science 303, 1986-1987 (2004). [Summary] [Full Text]