Functional presynaptic vesicles have been subdivided into readily releasable (RRP) and reserve (RP) pools. We studied recycling properties of RRP vesicles through differential retention of FM1-43 and FM2-10 and by varying the time window for FM dye uptake. Both approaches indicated that vesicles residing in the RRP underwent rapid endocytosis (τ ≃ 1 s), whereas newly recruited RP vesicles were recycled slowly (τ ≃ 30 s). With repeated challenges (hypertonic or electrical stimuli), the ability to release neurotransmitter recovered 10-fold more rapidly than restoration of FM2-10 destaining. Finding neurotransmission in the absence of destaining implied that rapidly endocytosed RRP vesicles were capable of reuse, a process distinct from repopulation from the RP. Reuse would greatly expand the functional capabilities of a limited number of vesicles in CHS terminals, particularly during intermittent bursts of activity.
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