The difference in shape of spontaneous and uniquantal evoked synaptic potentials in frog muscle.

R. Cherki-Vakil, S. Ginsburg, H. Meiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Spontaneous and stimulation‐induced uniquantal synaptic activity at the frog cutaneous pectoris muscle, treated with neostigmine, was recorded by focal extracellular microelectrodes. A monoexponential curve was fitted to the decay of each synaptic response. 2. A highly significant positive relationship was found between the amplitude and the decay time constant of spontaneous extracellular miniature endplate potentials (MEPPs(o)), whereas the relationship displayed by evoked uniquantal extracellular endplate potentials (EPPs(o)) was only slightly greater than zero. 3. The difference did not stem from changes in the muscle membrane conductance or from inclusion of outstanding MEPPs(o) formed as a result of the block of acetylcholinesterase. 4. The dependence of the rise time on the amplitude was also stronger in MEPPs(o) than in EPPs(o). 5. In the absence of neostigmine, MEPPs(o) exhibited a positive correlation between decay time constant and amplitude, while EPPs(o) did not show such a correlation. 6. In view of previously published models of transmitter release, it is suggested that spontaneous secretion of quanta occurs both within and outside the active zones facing postsynaptic areas of variable receptor density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-650
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 1995


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