Mitochondria are major suppliers of cellular energy in neurons; however, utilization of energy from glycolysis versus mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) in the presynaptic compartment during neurotransmission is largely unknown. Using presynaptic and postsynaptic recordings from the mouse calyx of Held, we examined the effect of acute selective pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis or mitochondrial OxPhos on multiple mechanisms regulating presynaptic function. Inhibition of glycolysis via glucose depletion and Iodoacetic Acid (IAA, 1mM) treatment, but not mitochondrial OxPhos, rapidly altered transmission, resulting in highly variable, oscillating responses. At reduced temperature, this same treatment attenuated synaptic transmission, due to a smaller and broader presynaptic AP waveform. We show via experimental manipulation and ion channel modeling that the altered AP waveform results in smaller Ca2+-influx, resulting in attenuated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). In contrast, inhibition of mitochondria-derived ATP production via extracellular pyruvate depletion and bath-applied oligomycin (1 µM) had no significant effect on Ca2+-influx, did not alter the AP waveform within the same time frame (up to 30 min), and the resultant EPSC remained unaffected. Glycolysis, but not mitochondrial OxPhos, is thus required to maintain basal synaptic transmission at the presynaptic terminal. We propose that glycolytic enzymes are closely apposed to ATP-dependent ion pumps on the presynaptic membrane. Our results indicate a novel mechanism for the effect of hypoglycemia on neurotransmission. Attenuated transmission likely results from a single presynaptic mechanism at reduced temperature: a slower, smaller AP, prior to and independent of any effect on synaptic vesicle release or receptor activity.
- oxidative phosphorylation
- calyx of Held
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology