Ultrastructural Localization of Calcium at Synapses and Modulatory Interactions with Gangliosides

  • Hinrich Rahmann
  • Wolfgang Probst
Part of the FIDIA Research Series book series (FIDIA, volume 6)


In 1975/76 we published the functional hypothesis of an involvement of sialoglycomacromolecules, especially gangliosides, in the process of synaptic transmission, including memory formation (Rahmann, 1976; Rahmann et al., 1975; 1976). In our proposal it had been discussed that due to the ability of ganglioside-bound negatively charged sialic acids to form labile complexes together with Ca2+-ions, these glycosphingolipids are assumed to act as modulatory compounds for the Ca2+-dependent release of transmitter substances at synapses. Since 1975 we have been able to add to this hypothesis extensive experimental evidence (Rahmann, 1983; 1984; Rahmann et al., 1982; Probst et al., 1984). In the meantime it also had been supported by several other authors (Svennerholm, 1980; Tettamanti et al., 1980; Maggio et al., 1981; Veh and Sander, 1981; Leskawa and Rosenberg, 1981). The essential basis for our model is the well-known fact that almost every stage of neuronal activity, especially electrical responsiveness, depends on the presence of extra-cellular Ca2+. With regard to this, during recent years extensive experimental efforts were undertaken to establish subcellular Ca2+-deposits in the synaptic terminal. Rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and vesicles were determined as intracellular Ca2+-storage structures (McGraw et al., 1980; Chan et al., 1983). The electronmicroscopical methods used until now, however, failed to establish extra-cellular deposits of Ca2+.


Synaptic Transmission Synaptic Cleft Brain Ganglioside Functional Hypothesis Chelator EGTA 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



central nervous system


phosphoinositide biphosphate (or triphosphoinositide)






ethylen glycol bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N,N’,N’,-tetra acetic acid.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hinrich Rahmann
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Probst
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of Stuttgart-HohenheimStuttgart 70 (Hohenheim)Federal Republic of Germany

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