Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 223-230

First online:

Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis in Hippocampal Synaptosomes Correlates Directly with Total Mitochondrial Volume

  • Maxim V. IvannikovAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology and Neuroscience, NYU School of MedicineDepartment of Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Email author 
  • , Mutsuyuki SugimoriAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology and Neuroscience, NYU School of Medicine
  • , Rodolfo R. LlinásAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology and Neuroscience, NYU School of Medicine

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Synaptic plasticity in many regions of the central nervous system leads to the continuous adjustment of synaptic strength, which is essential for learning and memory. In this study, we show by visualizing synaptic vesicle release in mouse hippocampal synaptosomes that presynaptic mitochondria and, specifically, their capacities for ATP production are essential determinants of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and its magnitude. Total internal reflection microscopy of FM1-43 loaded hippocampal synaptosomes showed that inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation reduces evoked synaptic release. This reduction was accompanied by a substantial drop in synaptosomal ATP levels. However, cytosolic calcium influx was not affected. Structural characterization of stimulated hippocampal synaptosomes revealed that higher total presynaptic mitochondrial volumes were consistently associated with higher levels of exocytosis. Thus, synaptic vesicle release is linked to the presynaptic ability to regenerate ATP, which itself is a utility of mitochondrial density and activity.


Mitochondria Synaptic transmission ATP