Rapid kinetics of endocytosis at rod photoreceptor synapses depends upon endocytic load and calcium

Karlene M. Cork, Wallace B. Thoreson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Release from rods is triggered by the opening of L-type Ca2+ channels that lie beneath synaptic ribbons. After exocytosis, vesicles are retrieved by compensatory endocytosis. Previous work showed that endocytosis is dynamin-dependent in rods but dynamin-independent in cones. We hypothesized that fast endocytosis in rods may also differ from cones in its dependence upon the amount of Ca2+ influx and/or endocytic load. We measured exocytosis and endocytosis from membrane capacitance (C m) changes evoked by depolarizing steps in voltage clamped rods from tiger salamander retinal slices. Similar to cones, the time constant for endocytosis in rods was quite fast, averaging <200 ms. We manipulated Ca2+ influx and the amount of vesicle release by altering the duration and voltage of depolarizing steps. Unlike cones, endocytosis kinetics in rods slowed after increasing Ca2+ channel activation with longer step durations or more strongly depolarized voltage steps. Endocytosis kinetics also slowed as Ca2+ buffering was decreased by replacing BAPTA (10 or 1 mM) with the slower Ca2+ buffer EGTA (5 or 0.5 mM) in the pipette solution. These data provide further evidence that endocytosis mechanisms differ in rods and cones and suggest that endocytosis in rods is regulated by both endocytic load and local Ca 2+ levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • Retina
  • Ribbon synapse
  • Rod photoreceptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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