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Ricardo Miledi and the calcium hypothesis of neurotransmitter release


Ricardo Miledi has made significant contributions to our basic understanding of how synapses work. Here I discuss aspects of Miledi's research that helped to establish the requirement of presynaptic calcium for neurotransmitter release, from his earliest scientific studies to his classic experiments in the squid giant synapse.

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Figure 1: Woods Hole, 1955.
Figure 2: Stazione Zoologica, Napoli, 1973.


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The author wishes to thank Ricardo Miledi, Ian Parker and Jacques Stinnakre for their contributions, and dedicates this work to Pinnok Chu Jeng. J.-M.J. was awarded the Ralph Waldo Gerard Prize for Excellence in the History of Neuroscience for an earlier version of this work.

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calcium and neurotransmitter release

calcium channels

chemical synapses

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Jeng, JM. Ricardo Miledi and the calcium hypothesis of neurotransmitter release. Nat Rev Neurosci 3, 71–76 (2002).

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