Capacitance measurement of dendritic exocytosis in an electrically coupled inhibitory retinal interneuron: an experimental and computational study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Exocytotic release of neurotransmitter can be quantiﬁed by electrophysiological recording from postsynaptic neurons. Alternatively, fusion of synaptic vesicles with the cell membrane can be measured as increased capacitance by recording directly from a presynaptic neuron. The “Sine + DC” technique is based on recording from an unbranched cell, represented by an electrically equivalent RC-circuit. It is challenging to extend such measurements to branching neurons where exocytosis occurs at a distance from a somatic recording electrode. The AII amacrine is an important inhibitory interneuron of the mammalian retina and there is evidence that exocytosis at presynaptic lobular dendrites increases the capacitance. Here, we combined electrophysiological recording and computer simulations with realistic compartmental models to explore capacitance measurements of rat AII amacrine cells. First, we veriﬁed the ability of the “Sine + DC” technique to detect depolarizationevoked exocytosis in physiological recordings. Next, we used compartmental modeling to demonstrate that capacitance measurements can detect increased membrane surface area at lobular dendrites. However, the accuracy declines for lobular dendrites located further from the soma due to frequency-dependent signal attenuation. For sine wave frequencies ≥1 kHz, the magnitude of the total releasable pool of synaptic vesicles will be signiﬁcantly underestimated. Reducing the sine wave frequency increases overall accuracy, but when the frequency is sufﬁciently low that exocytosis can be detected with high accuracy from all lobular dendrites (~100 Hz), strong electrical coupling between AII amacrines compromises the measurements. These results need to be taken into account in studies with capacitance measurements from these and other electrically coupled neurons.