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Immunohistochemical localization of a synaptic-vesicle antigen in a cholinergic neuron under conditions of stimulation and rest

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An antiserum against a specific component (a glycosamino glycan) of the cholinergic synaptic-vesicle of Torpedo marmorata has been used to investigate the localization of the component in the cell body, its movement within the electromotor axon and its fate within the nerve terminal upon electrical stimulation. After immunofluorescent staining, spots are observed throughout the cytoplasm of the lobe perikarya, although they are concentrated in the region of the axon hillock. Ligation of the electromotor nerves leading from the lobe to electric organ produces a proximal build-up of material which stains readily with the antivesicle antiserum, indicating that the vesicle antigen is transported from the cell body to the nerve terminal. A marked increase in indirect immunofluorescent staining of the electric organ is observed in the nerve ending upon electrical stimulation. We interpret this result as fusion of the vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane and exteriorization of the vesicle antigen to the extracellular space, thereby facilitating its staining. After recovery of the system the fluorescence declines, a result that is consistent with the reinternalization of the vesicle antigen into the core of reformed vesicles. The results support a mechanism whereby vesicles recycle within the nerve terminal and transmitter is released by exocytosis.

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Correspondence to Dr. R. Theresa Jones.

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Theresa Jones, R., Walker, J.H., Stadler, H. et al. Immunohistochemical localization of a synaptic-vesicle antigen in a cholinergic neuron under conditions of stimulation and rest. Cell Tissue Res. 223, 117–126 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00221503

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Key words

  • Cholinergic vesicle antigen
  • Axonal transport
  • Exo/endocytosis
  • Indirect immunofluorescence histochemistry
  • Torpedo marmorata