Neuronal communication relies on vesicular neurotransmitter release from signaling neurons and detection of these molecules by neighboring neurons. Glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, is involved in nearly all brain functions. However, glutamate has suffered from detection schemes that lack temporal and spatial resolution allowed by electrochemistry. Here we show an amperometric, novel, ultrafast enzyme-based nanoparticle modified sensor, measuring random bursts of hundreds to thousands of rapid spontaneous glutamate exocytotic release events at approximately 30 Hz frequency in the nucleus accumbens of rodent brain slices. Characterizing these single submillisecond exocytosis events revealed a great diversity in spike shape characteristics and size of quantal release, suggesting variability in fusion pore dynamics controlling the glutamate release by cells in this brain region. Hence, this novel biosensor allows recording of rapid single glutamate exocytosis events in the brain tissue and offers insight on regulatory aspects of exocytotic glutamate release, which is critical to understanding of brain glutamate function and dysfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cell Biology