Facilitation of transmitter release at squid synapses
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Facilitation is shown to decay as a compound exponential with two time constants (T1, T2) at both giant and non-giant synapses in squid steilate ganglia bathed in solutions having low extracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca++]o). Maximum values of facilitation (F~) were significantly larger, and T1 was significantly smaller in giant than non-giant synapses. Decreases in [Ca++]o or increases in [Mn++]o had variable effects on T1 and F1, whereas decreases in temperature increased T~ but had insignificant effects on/'1. The growth of facilitation during short trains of equal interval stimuli was adequately predicted by the linear summation model developed by Mallart and Martin (1967.J. Physiol. (Lond.). 193: 676-694) for frog neuromuscular junctions. This result suggests that the underlying mechanisms of facilitation are similar in squid and other synapses which release many transmitter quanta.