Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 223–230

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


    • Department of Physiology and NeuroscienceNYU School of Medicine
    • Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Mutsuyuki Sugimori
    • Department of Physiology and NeuroscienceNYU School of Medicine
  • Rodolfo R. Llinás
    • Department of Physiology and NeuroscienceNYU School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1007/s12031-012-9848-8

Cite this article as:
Ivannikov, M.V., Sugimori, M. & Llinás, R.R. J Mol Neurosci (2013) 49: 223. doi:10.1007/s12031-012-9848-8


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

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012