Carlota Gonzalez Inchauspe, Francisco J. Martini, Ian D. Forsythe, and Osvaldo D. Uchitel; Anita Scheuber, Richard Miles, and Jean Christophe Poncer
Facilitation of transmitter release occurs with successive calcium channel openings, but the molecules mediating the phenomenon are still unclear. This week, two papers examine the roles of presynaptic calcium channels in facilitation. Voltage-dependent relief of G-protein-mediated channel inhibition of Cav2.2 channels was responsible for this form of short-term plasticity.
2. EtOH, BDNF, and RACK1
Nancy N. H. McGough, Dao-Yao He, Marian L. Logrip, Jerome Jeanblanc, Khanhky Phamluong, Ken Luong, Viktor Kharazia, Patricia H. Janak, and Dorit Ron
How is it that some of us can drink in moderation whereas others fall victim to the physical and psychosocial devastation that is chronic alcoholism? One idea is that chronic excessive alcohol intake results in a series of biochemical adaptations that result in addiction if allowed to proceed unchecked. In this week's Journal, McGough et al. identify brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as one of the possible brakes on runaway adaptations of this sort.