IINS, CNRS-Université de Bordeaux
The synapse is a bipartite organelle approximately 1 µm in size that is responsible for communication between neurons. Glutamate receptors play a critical role in converting the chemical signal emitted by the presynapse (glutamate release) into an electrical signal that can be understood by the postsynaptic neuron. Because of their relatively low affinity for glutamate and the limited amount of glutamate available, the spatial and temporal nano-organization of these receptors within the postsynaptic membrane is crucial for understanding synaptic transmission and, consequently, information processing in the brain. Recent advances in single-particle-based super-resolution microscopy have made it possible to explore this nanoscale sub-synaptic organization. By combining these imaging techniques with electrophysiology and modeling, we have gained a better understanding of the properties of synaptic transmission. In this seminar, we will review the basics of synaptic transmission from the perspective of glutamate receptors at the nanoscale.