Professor Jianyuan Sun

State Key Laboratory of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Title: Quantal transmission at single central synapses displays large variation in size with subunit

Abstract: In their seminal work, Katz and colleagues established the quantal nature of synaptic transmission, whereby the basic unit of neurotransmission is the quantal event detected postsynaptically as a small all-or-none similar sized miniature postsynaptic potential or current (mini), in response to the neurotransmitter release from a single vesicle. However, the quantal nature of minis has never been justified by the study at single synapses, leaving the open question whether minis are identical in size and follow the principle of invariance. Here, we selectively study the quantal transmission from single active zone contained synapses using whole-cell recording and quantitative analysis. It was found that the amplitude of spontaneous and evoked miniature events from single synapses displayed large variation and could be estimated as integer multiples of a subunit. Our study revealed a large encoding scope of quantal synaptic transmission and the higher capacity of synaptic information processing than that the quantal theory implied.

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

While seminars in the QBI Auditorium have been suspended due to COVID-19, we will still be holding seminars via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018