Dynamic Modulation of Retinal Ribbon-Type Synapses

Project: Research project

Description

The retina detects and transmits large amounts of visual information quickly and reliably. Ribbon synapses are key components of the vertebrate retinal circuitry, forming the first and second presynaptic elements in the signaling pathway to the brain. The specialized morphology and function of the ribbons presumably endows them with a unique capacity for copious and fast neurotransmitter release, which is thought to be essential for the efficient processing and encoding of visual information. Nevertheless, the underlying cellular mechanisms that modulate and maintain transmitter output from ribbon synapses under vastly different ambient light conditions and during the daytime/nighttime cycle are poorly understood. Due to their large size, we are able to patch-clamp single goldfish bipolar cell terminals. This allows us to measure both presynaptic Ca currents and evoked changes in membrane capacitance that assay synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis in real time. We have found that synaptic terminals have a greatly reduced efficiency of release at night, so that large Ca currents evoke small amounts of exocytosis. Conversely, relatively smaller Ca currents evoke much larger amounts of exocytosis during daytime. In addition, we have found that the well-known intermediate metabolites NAD+ and NADH modulate ribbon synapse output, perhaps via their interaction with a novel and major ribbon constituent protein RIBEYE. Thus, the first hypothesis to be tested is that the efficiency of exocytosis changes at a ribbon synapse in a circadian cycle (that parallels changes in ribbon morphology and metabolic state of the synapse), and that ribbon function is modulated by metabolites that reflect cellular energy levels. We have also found that elevated levels of internal Cl-ions inhibit the rate of endocytosis at ribbon synapses. Therefore, the second hypothesis to be tested is that Cl-influx via the strong GABAergic input at the terminal directly modulates the rate of vesicle recycling by inhibiting endocytosis, the first step in the recycling process. This finding suggests a novel role for Cl- ions as second messengers that modulate vesicle cycling. Finally, we have preliminary evidence that dephosphorylation drastically inhibits the mobility of synaptic vesicles within bipolar cell terminals. Very little is known about how ribbon synapses regulate vesicle mobility and clustering. The third hypothesis to be tested is that phosphorylation regulates vesicle recycling and mobility at ribbon synapses. These studies will thus increase our understanding of ribbon synapses as dynamic structures that adapt to diverse conditions so as to efficiently transmit a wide array of stimuli.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date5/1/0212/31/18

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $226,500.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $289,243.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $226,500.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $223,236.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $346,313.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $329,314.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $346,500.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $385,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $221,177.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $385,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $339,570.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $343,035.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $226,500.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $377,300.00

Fingerprint

Synapses
Amacrine Cells
Synaptic Vesicles
Exocytosis
Retina
Endocytosis
Visual Prosthesis
Recycling
Goldfish
Membranes
Vertebrates
Ganglia
Glutamic Acid
Neurotransmitter Agents
Biochemical Phenomena
NAD
Light
GABA Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
Retinal Diseases
Equipment and Supplies

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)