The soma, dendrites and axon of neurons may display calcium-dependent release of transmitters and peptides. Such release is named extrasynaptic for occurring in absence of synaptic structures. This review describes the cooperative actions of three calcium sources on somatic exocytosis. Emphasis is given to the somatic release of serotonin by the classical leech Retzius neuron, which has allowed detailed studies on the fine steps from excitation to exocytosis. Trains of action potentials induce transmembrane calcium entry through L-type channels. For action potential frequencies above 5 Hz, summation of calcium transients on individual action potentials activates the second calcium source: ryanodine receptors produce calcium-induced calcium release. The resulting calcium tsunami activates mitochondrial ATP synthesis to fuel transport of vesicles to the plasma membrane. Serotonin that is released maintains a large-scale exocytosis by activating the third calcium source: serotonin autoreceptors coupled to phospholipase C promote IP3 production. Activated IP3 receptors in peripheral endoplasmic reticulum release calcium that promotes vesicle fusion. The Swiss-clock workings of the machinery for somatic exocytosis has a striking disadvantage. The essential calcium-releasing endoplasmic reticulum near the plasma membrane hinders the vesicle transport, drastically reducing the thermodynamic efficiency of the ATP expenses and elevating the energy cost of release.
Última actualización: 27/06/2022