Stanford Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
The Dopamine Synapse David Sulzer PhD Department of Neurology, Columbia University
Host: Jun Ding
The chemical structure of dopamine, which is electroactive and can be derivatized to fluorescent analogs, has allowed its synaptic properties to be better characterized than other CNS synapses. These include the number of molecules released during synaptic vesicle fusion, their kinetics and quantal substructure, means to modulate quantal size, and the elucidation of differences between individual synapses within large populations. We will discuss amperometric and fluorescent false neurotransmitter measurements of presynaptic properties, and how dopamine release modulates synaptic plasticity by filtering specific corticostriatal synapses, a feature that may explain how convergence of behavior and the environment produce learning.