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Journal Article

Transients in global Ca2+ concentration induced by electrical activity in a giant nerve terminal.

MPS-Authors
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Neher,  E.
Emeritus Group of Membrane Biophysics, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Taschenberger,  H.
Research Group of Activity-Dependent and Developmental Plasticity at the Calyx of Held, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Neher, E., & Taschenberger, H. (2013). Transients in global Ca2+ concentration induced by electrical activity in a giant nerve terminal. Journal of Physiology, 591(13), 3189-3195. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2012.248617.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-D0F1-A
Abstract
Giant nerve terminals offer a unique opportunity to learn about dynamic changes in intracellular global Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](i)) because this quantity can be measured precisely with indicator dyes and the composition of the intra-terminal ionic milieu can be controlled. We review here recent literature on [Ca2+](i) signalling in the calyx of Held and discuss what these measurements can tell us about endogenous Ca2+ buffers and Ca2+ extrusion mechanisms. We conclude that in spite of the favourable experimental conditions, some unresolved questions still remain regarding absolute values for the Ca2+-binding ratio, the affinity of the basic fixed buffer and the Ca2+ affinities of the major endogenous Ca2+ binding proteins. Uncertainties about some of these presynaptic properties, including the roles of Mg2+ and ATP (as a Mg2+ buffer), however, extend to the point that mechanisms controlling the decay of [Ca2+](i) signals in unperturbed terminals may have to be reconsidered.