The secretion of classical and peptide cotransmitters from a single presynaptic neuron involves a synaptobrevin-like molecule. Academic Article uri icon


  • It is not yet understood how the molecular mechanisms controlling the release of neuropeptides differ from those controlling the release of classical transmitters, mainly because there are few peptidergic synapses in which the environment at the presynaptic release sites can be manipulated. Using Aplysia californica neuron B2, which synthesizes both peptide and classical transmitters, we have established two synaptic types. When B2 is cocultured with a sensory neuron, a peptidergic synapse is formed. In contrast, when B2 is cocultured with neuron B6, a classical synapse is formed. In contrast to a common assumption, single action potentials can release both types of transmitters. The secretion of peptide and classical transmitters by B2 is inhibited by the presynaptic injection of tetanus toxin, but not by an inactive mutant. Thus a synaptobrevin-like molecule is involved in the secretion of these two types of transmitters.

publication date

  • April 1, 1997