synaptic transmission


Summary: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.

Top Publications

  1. Mehta B, Ke J, Zhang L, Baden A, Markowitz A, Nayak S, et al. Global Ca2+ signaling drives ribbon-independent synaptic transmission at rod bipolar cell synapses. J Neurosci. 2014;34:6233-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Our observations support the conclusion that ribbon-independent release provides a read-out of the average behavior of all of the active zones in a rod bipolar cell's terminal. ..
  2. Liu H, Bai H, Xue R, Takahashi H, Edwardson J, Chapman E. Linker mutations reveal the complexity of synaptotagmin 1 action during synaptic transmission. Nat Neurosci. 2014;17:670-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, the linker mutations uncoupled syt-mediated regulation of evoked and spontaneous release, revealing that syt also acts as a fusion clamp before the Ca(2+) trigger...
  3. Loebel A, Le Bé J, Richardson M, Markram H, Herz A. Matched pre- and post-synaptic changes underlie synaptic plasticity over long time scales. J Neurosci. 2013;33:6257-66 pubmed publisher
    ..However, it is not known how the underlying functional components of synaptic transmission change over long time scales...
  4. Melom J, Akbergenova Y, Gavornik J, Littleton J. Spontaneous and evoked release are independently regulated at individual active zones. J Neurosci. 2013;33:17253-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Imaging synaptic transmission at individual release sites also revealed general rules for spontaneous and evoked release, and indicate ..
  5. Giachello C, Premoselli F, Montarolo P, Ghirardi M. Pentylenetetrazol-induced epileptiform activity affects basal synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity in monosynaptic connections. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e56968 pubmed publisher impairment in the dynamic reorganization of synaptic vesicle pools following prolonged stimulation of synaptic transmission. In order to explain this imbalance, we determined whether epileptic activity is related to the ..
  6. Kang S, Liu M, Shi T, Zhao M, Kaang B, Zhuo M. N-type voltage gated calcium channels mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the anterior cingulate cortex of adult mice. Mol Pain. 2013;9:58 pubmed publisher
    Voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are well known for its importance in synaptic transmission in the peripheral and central nervous system...
  7. Lerma J, Marques J. Kainate receptors in health and disease. Neuron. 2013;80:292-311 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we examine discoveries linking these receptors to physiology and their probable implications in disease, in particular mood disorders, and propose some ideas to obtain a deeper understanding of these intriguing proteins. ..
  8. Su B, Ji Y, Sun X, Liu X, Chen Z. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced mitochondrial motility arrest and presynaptic docking contribute to BDNF-enhanced synaptic transmission. J Biol Chem. 2014;289:1213-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an essential role in regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity...
  9. Daberkow D, Brown H, Bunner K, Kraniotis S, Doellman M, Ragozzino M, et al. Amphetamine paradoxically augments exocytotic dopamine release and phasic dopamine signals. J Neurosci. 2013;33:452-63 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings identify upregulation of exocytotic dopamine release as a key AMPH action in behaving animals and support a unified mechanism of abused drugs to activate phasic dopamine signaling. ..

More Information


  1. Herring B, Shi Y, Suh Y, Zheng C, Blankenship S, Roche K, et al. Cornichon proteins determine the subunit composition of synaptic AMPA receptors. Neuron. 2013;77:1083-96 pubmed publisher
    ..Using CNIH-2 and CNIH-3 conditional knockout mice, we find a profound reduction of AMPAR synaptic transmission in the hippocampus...
  2. Kassabov S, Choi Y, Karl K, Vishwasrao H, Bailey C, Kandel E. A single Aplysia neurotrophin mediates synaptic facilitation via differentially processed isoforms. Cell Rep. 2013;3:1213-27 pubmed publisher
  3. Granger A, Shi Y, Lu W, Cerpas M, Nicoll R. LTP requires a reserve pool of glutamate receptors independent of subunit type. Nature. 2013;493:495-500 pubmed publisher
    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is thought to be an important cellular mechanism underlying memory formation...
  4. Komarova N, Levy D, Wodarz D. Effect of synaptic transmission on viral fitness in HIV infection. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e48361 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Synaptic transmission entails the transfer of tens to hundreds of viruses per synapse, a fraction of which successfully ..
  5. Lipstein N, Sakaba T, Cooper B, Lin K, Strenzke N, Ashery U, et al. Dynamic control of synaptic vesicle replenishment and short-term plasticity by Ca(2+)-calmodulin-Munc13-1 signaling. Neuron. 2013;79:82-96 pubmed publisher
  6. Liu M, Kang S, Shi T, Koga K, Zhang M, Collingridge G, et al. Long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission in the adult mouse insular cortex: multielectrode array recordings. J Neurophysiol. 2013;110:505-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results provide the first in vitro report of long-term multichannel recordings of L-LTP in the IC in adult mice and suggest its potential important roles in insula-related memory and chronic pain. ..
  7. Bhattacharya A, Vavra V, Svobodova I, Bendová Z, Vereb G, Zemkova H. Potentiation of inhibitory synaptic transmission by extracellular ATP in rat suprachiasmatic nuclei. J Neurosci. 2013;33:8035-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data suggest that ATP activates presynaptic P2X2Rs to regulate inhibitory synaptic transmission within the SCN and that this effect varies between regions.
  8. Sinning A, Hübner C. Minireview: pH and synaptic transmission. FEBS Lett. 2013;587:1923-8 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the processes and mechanisms that allow controlling the pH in synaptic structures and how these mechanisms contribute to normal synaptic function are only beginning to be resolved. ..
  9. Armstrong G, Drapeau P. Loss and gain of FUS function impair neuromuscular synaptic transmission in a genetic model of ALS. Hum Mol Genet. 2013;22:4282-92 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that both a loss and gain of FUS function result in defective presynaptic function at the NMJ. ..
  10. Prado V, Roy A, Kolisnyk B, Gros R, Prado M. Regulation of cholinergic activity by the vesicular acetylcholine transporter. Biochem J. 2013;450:265-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Hence novel functions for the oldest neurotransmitter known are emerging with the potential to provide new targets for the treatment of several pathological conditions. ..
  11. López Hidalgo M, Salgado Puga K, Alvarado Martínez R, Medina A, Prado Alcalá R, García Colunga J. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e49998 pubmed publisher
    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain...
  12. Zhou P, Pang Z, Yang X, Zhang Y, Rosenmund C, Bacaj T, et al. Syntaxin-1 N-peptide and Habc-domain perform distinct essential functions in synaptic vesicle fusion. EMBO J. 2013;32:159-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the N-terminal syntaxin-1 domains mediate different functions in synaptic vesicle fusion, probably via formation of distinct Munc18/SNARE-protein complexes. ..
  13. Casillas Espinosa P, Powell K, O Brien T. Regulators of synaptic transmission: roles in the pathogenesis and treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2012;53 Suppl 9:41-58 pubmed publisher
    b>Synaptic transmission is the communication between a presynaptic and a postsynaptic neuron, and the subsequent processing of the signal...
  14. Petrinovic M, Hourez R, Aloy E, Dewarrat G, Gall D, Weinmann O, et al. Neuronal Nogo-A negatively regulates dendritic morphology and synaptic transmission in the cerebellum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:1083-8 pubmed publisher
    Neuronal signal integration as well as synaptic transmission and plasticity highly depend on the morphology of dendrites and their spines...
  15. Schmidt Hieber C, Häusser M. Cellular mechanisms of spatial navigation in the medial entorhinal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16:325-31 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, these findings provide crucial new information for a quantitative understanding of the cellular basis of spatial navigation in the entorhinal cortex. ..
  16. Komarova N, Levy D, Wodarz D. Synaptic transmission and the susceptibility of HIV infection to anti-viral drugs. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2103 pubmed publisher
    ..Using a mathematical framework, we examine the role of synaptic transmission in treatment susceptibility...
  17. Sarti F, Zhang Z, Schroeder J, Chen L. Rapid suppression of inhibitory synaptic transmission by retinoic acid. J Neurosci. 2013;33:11440-50 pubmed publisher
    ..of synaptic GABAA receptors in mouse hippocampal neurons, leading to significant reduction of inhibitory synaptic transmission. Similar to its action at excitatory synapses, action of RA at inhibitory synapses requires protein ..
  18. Remenyi J, Van Den Bosch M, Palygin O, Mistry R, McKenzie C, Macdonald A, et al. miR-132/212 knockout mice reveal roles for these miRNAs in regulating cortical synaptic transmission and plasticity. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e62509 pubmed publisher
    ..In both hippocampal and neocortical slices miR-132/212 knockout reduced basal synaptic transmission, without affecting paired-pulse facilitation...
  19. Hou Z, Yu X. Activity-regulated somatostatin expression reduces dendritic spine density and lowers excitatory synaptic transmission via postsynaptic somatostatin receptor 4. J Biol Chem. 2013;288:2501-9 pubmed publisher
    ..pyramidal neurons significantly blocked the effect of SST in reducing spine density and excitatory synaptic transmission in a cell autonomous fashion, suggesting that the effect of SST in regulating excitatory synaptic ..
  20. Pires Oliveira M, Moen D, Akaaboune M. Dynamics of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and receptor-associated proteins at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013;10:631-41 pubmed
    ..In this review, we focus particularly on our increasing knowledge about the molecular dynamics of nAChR at the peripheral cholinergic NMJ and their regulation by the postsynaptic proteins of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC). ..
  21. Atherton J, Menard A, Urbain N, Bevan M. Short-term depression of external globus pallidus-subthalamic nucleus synaptic transmission and implications for patterning subthalamic activity. J Neurosci. 2013;33:7130-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Together, these data argue that the frequency and pattern of GPe activity profoundly influence its transmission to the STN. ..
  22. Maraula G, Traini C, Mello T, Coppi E, Galli A, Pedata F, et al. Effects of oxygen and glucose deprivation on synaptic transmission in rat dentate gyrus: role of A2A adenosine receptors. Neuropharmacology. 2013;67:511-20 pubmed publisher
    ..The adenosine A(2A) antagonist ZM241385 protects from synaptic failure and from decreased proliferation of immature neuronal cells at a precocious time after OGD. ..
  23. Volk L, Bachman J, Johnson R, Yu Y, Huganir R. PKM-? is not required for hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Nature. 2013;493:420-3 pubmed publisher
    ..We find that both conventional and conditional PKC-?/PKM-? knockout mice show normal synaptic transmission and LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, and have no deficits in several hippocampal-dependent ..
  24. Sutcliffe B, Forero M, Zhu B, Robinson I, Hidalgo A. Neuron-type specific functions of DNT1, DNT2 and Spz at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e75902 pubmed publisher
    ..induce NMJ plasticity leading to homeostatic adjustments that increase terminal size restoring overall synaptic transmission. Data suggest that Spz functions with neuron-type specificity at the muscle 4 NMJ, and DNT1 and DNT2 ..
  25. Chen G, Xiong Z, Yan Z. A? impairs nicotinic regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission and interneuron excitability in prefrontal cortex. Mol Neurodegener. 2013;8:3 pubmed publisher
    ..may contribute to cognitive impairment in AD, we examined the effect of A? on nicotinic regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain region critical for cognitive processes...
  26. Couey J, Witoelar A, Zhang S, Zheng K, Ye J, Dunn B, et al. Recurrent inhibitory circuitry as a mechanism for grid formation. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16:318-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings thus suggest that the observed inhibitory microcircuitry between stellate cells is sufficient to generate grid-cell firing patterns in layer II of the medial entorhinal cortex. ..
  27. Wang D, Hiesinger P. The vesicular ATPase: a missing link between acidification and exocytosis. J Cell Biol. 2013;203:171-3 pubmed publisher
    ..2013. J. Cell Biol. present new evidence that the vesicular ATPase performs separate acidification and exocytosis roles and propose a mechanism for how these two functions are causally linked. ..
  28. Poea Guyon S, Ammar M, Erard M, Amar M, Moreau A, Fossier P, et al. The V-ATPase membrane domain is a sensor of granular pH that controls the exocytotic machinery. J Cell Biol. 2013;203:283-98 pubmed publisher
    ..We thus conclude that V0 serves as a sensor of intragranular pH that controls exocytosis and synaptic transmission via the reversible dissociation of V1 at acidic pH...
  29. Sun T, Qiao H, Pan P, Chen Y, Sheng Z. Motile axonal mitochondria contribute to the variability of presynaptic strength. Cell Rep. 2013;4:413-419 pubmed publisher
    One of the most notable characteristics of synaptic transmission is the wide variation in synaptic strength in response to identical stimulation...
  30. Wu W, Bryant D, Dorsa D, Adelman J, Maylie J. Ovarian hormone loss impairs excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses. J Neurosci. 2013;33:16158-69 pubmed publisher
    ..5 months, OVXLT) ovarian hormone loss, as well as subsequent in vivo E2 treatment, on excitatory synaptic transmission at the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses important for learning and memory...
  31. Komlósi G, Molnár G, Rózsa M, Oláh S, Barzo P, Tamas G. Fluoxetine (prozac) and serotonin act on excitatory synaptic transmission to suppress single layer 2/3 pyramidal neuron-triggered cell assemblies in the human prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci. 2012;32:16369-78 pubmed publisher
  32. MacGillavry H, Song Y, Raghavachari S, Blanpied T. Nanoscale scaffolding domains within the postsynaptic density concentrate synaptic AMPA receptors. Neuron. 2013;78:615-22 pubmed publisher
    Scaffolding molecules at the postsynaptic membrane form the foundation of excitatory synaptic transmission by establishing the architecture of the postsynaptic density (PSD), but the small size of the synapse has precluded measurement of ..
  33. Lee P, Perlis R, Jung J, Byrne E, Rueckert E, Siburian R, et al. Multi-locus genome-wide association analysis supports the role of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the etiology of major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2:e184 pubmed publisher
    ..This result is consistent with previous studies that support a role of the glutamatergic system in synaptic plasticity and MDD and support the potential utility of targeting glutamatergic neurotransmission in the treatment of MDD. ..
  34. Bunday K, Perez M. Motor recovery after spinal cord injury enhanced by strengthening corticospinal synaptic transmission. Curr Biol. 2012;22:2355-61 pubmed publisher
    ..Modulation of residual corticospinal-motoneuronal synapses may present a novel therapeutic target for enhancing voluntary motor output in motor disorders affecting the corticospinal tract. ..
  35. Thompson J, Borgland S. Presynaptic leptin action suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission onto ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons. Biol Psychiatry. 2013;73:860-8 pubmed publisher
    ..excitability of dopamine neurons in the VTA, it is unknown whether leptin can modulate excitatory synaptic transmission in this brain region...
  36. Sun Y, Pita Almenar J, Wu C, Renger J, Uebele V, Lu H, et al. Biphasic cholinergic synaptic transmission controls action potential activity in thalamic reticular nucleus neurons. J Neurosci. 2013;33:2048-59 pubmed publisher
    ..Our study demonstrates fast and precise synaptic E-I signaling mediated by ACh, suggesting novel computational mechanisms for the cholinergic control of neuronal activity in thalamic circuits. ..
  37. Ji G, Fu Y, Adwanikar H, Neugebauer V. Non-pain-related CRF1 activation in the amygdala facilitates synaptic transmission and pain responses. Mol Pain. 2013;9:2 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we examined the synaptic and behavioral effects of CRF in the amygdala of normal animals in the absence of tissue injury or disease...
  38. Levitz J, Pantoja C, Gaub B, Janovjak H, Reiner A, Hoagland A, et al. Optical control of metabotropic glutamate receptors. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16:507-16 pubmed publisher
    ..These light-gated mGluRs pave the way for determining the roles of mGluRs in synaptic plasticity, memory and disease. ..
  39. Spangler S, Schmitz S, Kevenaar J, de Graaff E, de Wit H, Demmers J, et al. Liprin-?2 promotes the presynaptic recruitment and turnover of RIM1/CASK to facilitate synaptic transmission. J Cell Biol. 2013;201:915-28 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, liprin-?2 plays an important role in maintaining active zone dynamics to modulate synaptic efficacy in response to changes in network activity...
  40. Wei C, Thatcher E, Olena A, Cha D, Perdigoto A, Marshall A, et al. miR-153 regulates SNAP-25, synaptic transmission, and neuronal development. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e57080 pubmed publisher
    ..addition for neuronal growth, neuropeptide/growth factor secretion, and neurotransmitter release during synaptic transmission. Here, we report a novel microRNA mechanism of SNAP-25 regulation controlling motor neuron development, ..
  41. Ahumada J, Fernandez de Sevilla D, Couve A, Buño W, Fuenzalida M. Long-term depression of inhibitory synaptic transmission induced by spike-timing dependent plasticity requires coactivation of endocannabinoid and muscarinic receptors. Hippocampus. 2013;23:1439-52 pubmed publisher
    ..mechanism by which the activation of cholinergic neurons and retrograde signaling by eCBs can modulate the efficacy of GABAergic synaptic transmission in ways that may contribute to information processing and storage in the hippocampus.
  42. Iwasaki T, Otsuguro K, Kobayashi T, Ohta T, Ito S. Endogenously released 5-HT inhibits A and C fiber-evoked synaptic transmission in the rat spinal cord by the facilitation of GABA/glycine and 5-HT release via 5-HT(2A) and 5-HT(3) receptors. Eur J Pharmacol. 2013;702:149-57 pubmed publisher
    ..5-HT3 receptors may be involved in the facilitation of 5-HT release via a positive feedback process. ..
  43. Kavalali E, Monteggia L. Synaptic mechanisms underlying rapid antidepressant action of ketamine. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169:1150-6 pubmed
  44. Atlas D. The voltage-gated calcium channel functions as the molecular switch of synaptic transmission. Annu Rev Biochem. 2013;82:607-35 pubmed publisher
  45. Chen Y, Sheng Z. Kinesin-1-syntaphilin coupling mediates activity-dependent regulation of axonal mitochondrial transport. J Cell Biol. 2013;202:351-64 pubmed publisher
    ..Altogether, our study provides new mechanistic insight into the molecular interplay between motor and docking proteins, which arrests axonal mitochondrial transport in response to changes in neuronal activity. ..
  46. Kauwe G, Isacoff E. Rapid feedback regulation of synaptic efficacy during high-frequency activity at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:9142-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings reveal a unique dimension to postsynaptic iGluR activity: fast retrograde signaling that preserves transmission efficacy during high-frequency presynaptic firing. ..
  47. Girotto F, Scott L, Avchalumov Y, Harris J, Iannattone S, Drummond Main C, et al. High dose folic acid supplementation of rats alters synaptic transmission and seizure susceptibility in offspring. Sci Rep. 2013;3:1465 pubmed publisher
    ..Networks reared in the presence of the folic acid metabolite 5M4Hfolate developed a spontaneous, distinctive bursting pattern, and both metabolites produced an increase in synaptic density. ..
  48. Jaiswal S, Wollman L, Harrison C, Pilarski J, Fregosi R. Developmental nicotine exposure enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in motor neurons and interneurons critical for normal breathing. Dev Neurobiol. 2016;76:337-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Nicotine, in the absence of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, alters normal development of brainstem circuits that are critical for normal breathing. ..
  49. Nimitvilai S, Lopez M, Mulholland P, Woodward J. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016;41:1112-27 pubmed publisher
    ..was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity...
  50. Hoeller A, Costa A, Bicca M, Matheus F, Lach G, Spiga F, et al. The Role of Hippocampal NMDA Receptors in Long-Term Emotional Responses following Muscarinic Receptor Activation. PLoS ONE. 2016;11:e0147293 pubmed publisher
    ..This is a novel mechanism associated with anxiety-like responses in rats, which comprise a putative target to future translational studies. ..
  51. Qi H, Shuai J. Alzheimer's disease via enhanced calcium signaling caused by the decrease of endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial distance. Med Hypotheses. 2016;89:28-31 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, we propose that the reduction in the distance between ER and mitochondria may be implicated in AD pathology by enhanced Ca(2+) signaling, which provides a more complete picture of the Ca(2+) hypothesis of AD. ..
  52. De Pittà M, Brunel N. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Glutamatergic Gliotransmission: A Modeling Study. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:7607924 pubmed publisher
    ..In particular, activity-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes could dramatically change spike-timing-dependent plasticity, turning potentiation into depression (and vice versa) for the same induction protocol. ..
  53. Brooks J, O DONNELL P. Kappa Opioid Receptors Mediate Heterosynaptic Suppression of Hippocampal Inputs in the Rat Ventral Striatum. J Neurosci. 2017;37:7140-7148 pubmed publisher
    ..These data provide a novel mechanism through which VS information processing could influence decision making, a function thought to occur primarily in the PFC. ..