1. Application of 0.15 mM 1-(hydroxyethylamino)-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (HEATNB) to the frog neuromuscular junction induced a marked increase (4.0- fold) in the amplitude of nerve-evoked end-plate potentials (EPPs) obtained from intracellular and extracellular records, but only a slight increase (1.9 fold) in the frequency of miniature EPPs (MEPPs) obtained from intracellular records. The effects of HEATNB on EPP amplitude and MEPP frequency showed a similar time course, reaching a plateau level °40 min after the start of application and returning to the control level after wash. The difference in the effects of HEATNB on EPP and MEPP frequency suggests that it specifically enhances synchronous transmitter release. 2. Comparing the effects and structure of HEATNB with those of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene-1-sulfonic acid, we conclude that the observed increase in transmitter release is due to the effects of the trinitrobenzene moiety of those reagents. 3. The distribution of MEPP amplitude was unchanged by HEATNB treatment, indicating that its effects are presynaptic. 4. Among four components of short-term synaptic plasticity, HEATNB greatly decreased (~70%) augmentation and increased (~50%) potentiation, but had little effect on fast and slow facilitations. These results suggest that each of the short-term plasticities has a different mechanism and that HEATNB affects the same mechanisms as those of augmentation. 5. Even when a calcium chelator, bis-(o-aminophenoxy)- N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, was loaded into the presynaptic nerve terminal, the effects of HEATNB were not changed in nature, suggesting that effects of HEATNB persist independently of intracellular Ca2+ concentration. 6. These observations suggest that HEATNB may affect specific protein (s) involved primarily in synchronous transmitter release and not asynchronous release.
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