Synapses show widely varying ce:degrees of short-term facilitation and depression. Several mechanisms have been proposed to underlie short-term plasticity, but the contributions of presynaptic mechanisms have been particularly difficult to study because of the small size of synaptic boutons in the mammalian brain. Here we review the functional properties of the calyx of Held, a giant nerve terminal that has shed new light on the general mechanisms that control short-term plasticity. The calyx of Held has also provided fresh insights into the strategies used by synapses to extend their dynamic range of operation and preserve the timing of sensory stimuli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas