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Postsynaptic zinc potentiation elicited by KCl depolarization at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

Authors: Bastos, Fatima M. C.; Lopes, Sandra A.; Corceiro, Vanessa N.; Matias, Carlos M.; Dionisio, Jose C.; Sampaio dos Aidos, Fernando D. S.; Mendes, Paulo J.; Santos, Rosa M.; Quinta-Ferreira, Rosa M.; Emilia Quinta-Ferreira, M.

Ref.: Gen. Physiol. Biophys. 36, 289-296 (2017)

Abstract: The hippocampal mossy fibers contain a substantial quantity of loosely-bound zinc in their glutamatergic presynaptic vesicles, which is released in synaptic transmission processes. Despite the large number of studies about this issue, the zinc changes related to short and long-term forms of potentiation are not totally understood. This work focus on zinc signals associated with chemically-induced mossy fiber synaptic plasticity, in particular on postsynaptic zinc signals evoked by KCl depolarization. The signals were detected using the medium affinity fluorescent zinc indicator Newport Green. The application of large concentrations of KCl, 20 mM and 60 mM, in the extracellular medium evoked zinc potentiations that decreased and remained stable after washout of the first and the second media, respectively. These short and long-lasting enhancements are considered to be due to zinc entry into postsynaptic neurons. We have also observed that following established zinc potentiation, another application of 60 mM KCl only elicited further enhancement when combined with external zinc. These facts support the idea that the KCl-evoked presynaptic depolarization causes higher zinc release leading to zinc influx into the postsynaptic region.

DOI: 10.4149/gpb_2017001