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TitleParsing Out the Variability of Transmission at Central Synapses Using Optical Quantal Analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSoares, Cary, Daniel Trotter, Andre Longtin, Jean-Claude Béïque, and Richard Naud
JournalFront Synaptic Neurosci
Date Published2019

Properties of synaptic release dictates the core of information transfer in neural circuits. Despite decades of technical and theoretical advances, distinguishing bona fide information content from the multiple sources of synaptic variability remains a challenging problem. Here, we employed a combination of computational approaches with cellular electrophysiology, two-photon uncaging of MNI-Glutamate and imaging at single synapses. We describe and calibrate the use of the fluorescent glutamate sensor iGluSnFR and found that its kinetic profile is close to that of AMPA receptors, therefore providing several distinct advantages over slower methods relying on NMDA receptor activation (i.e., chemical or genetically encoded calcium indicators). Using an array of statistical methods, we further developed, and validated on surrogate data, an expectation-maximization algorithm that, by biophysically constraining release variability, extracts the quantal parameters n (maximum number of released vesicles) and p (unitary probability of release) from single-synapse iGluSnFR-mediated transients. Together, we present a generalizable mathematical formalism which, when applied to optical recordings, paves the way to an increasingly precise investigation of information transfer at central synapses.

Alternate JournalFront Synaptic Neurosci
PubMed ID31474847
PubMed Central IDPMC6702664