Target contact regulates the calcium responsiveness of the secretory machinery during synaptogenesis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neuron B19 of Helisoma is selective in synaptogenesis. Presynaptic mechanisms underlying this selectivity were tested. Acetylcholine-sensitive assay cells were micromanipulated into contact with B19 somata to assess its secretory state. Prior to appropriate muscle target contact, spontaneous synaptic currents were detected; however, action potential-evoked release of neurotransmitter was detected only following hours of muscle contact. Photolysis of a calcium cage, DM-nitrophen, accelerated the frequency of synaptic currents in muscle-contacted, but not novel neuron-contacted, B19 somata. These studies demonstrate that contact with appropriate target muscle enhances the responsiveness of this neuron's secretory machinery to internal calcium levels, thereby imparting the presynaptic cell with the ability to couple action potentials with neurotransmitter release.

published proceedings

  • Neuron

author list (cited authors)

  • Zoran, M. J., Doyle, R. T., & Haydon, P. G.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Zoran, MJ||Doyle, RT||Haydon, PG

publication date

  • January 1991

published in