PubMed 21877902

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Slo1 , TRP , TRPM , TRPML

Title: Extracellular protons reduce quantal content and prolong synaptic currents at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction.

Authors: David J Sandstrom

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurogenet., 2011 Oct , 25, 104-14

PubMed link:

Fluctuations in extracellular pH occur in the nervous system in response to a number of physiological and pathological processes, such as ischemia, hypercapnea, and high-frequency activity. Using the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, the author has examined acute effects of low and high pH on excitability and synaptic transmission. Acidification rapidly and reversibly reduces the size of electrically evoked excitatory junctional currents (EJCs) in a concentration-dependent manner, with transmission nearly abolished at pH 5.0. Conversely, raising pH to 7.8 increases EJC amplitude significantly. Further elevation to pH 8.5 causes an initial increase in amplitude, followed by profound, long-lasting depression of the synapse. Amplitudes of spontaneous miniature EJCs (mEJCs) are modestly, but significantly reduced at pH 5.0. It is therefore the number of quanta released per action potential, rather than the size of individual quanta, that is most strongly affected. Decay times of both EJCs and mEJCs are dramatically lengthened at low pH, suggesting that glutamate remains in the synaptic cleft for much longer than normal. Presynaptic excitability is also reduced, as indicated by increased latency between nerve shock and EJC onset. The response to low pH was not altered by mutations in genes encoding Transient Receptor Potential, Mucolipin subfamily (TRPML) and Slowpoke ion channels, which had previously been implicated as possible targets of extracellular protons. The author concludes that extracellular protons have strong effects on the release of glutamate and the time course of synaptic currents. These phenotypes can be exploited to study the mechanisms of acid-mediated changes in neuronal function, and to pursue the way in which pH modulates synaptic function in normal and pathophysiological conditions.