Wolfhard Almers

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As a final step in endocytosis, clathrin-coated pits must separate from the plasma membrane and move into the cytosol as a coated vesicle. Because these events involve minute movements that conventional light microscopy cannot resolve, they have not been observed directly and their dynamics remain unexplored. Here, we used evanescent field (EF) microscopy(More)
In mast cells and granulocytes, exocytosis starts with the formation of a fusion pore. It has been suggested that neurotransmitters may be released through such a narrow pore without full fusion. However, owing to the small size of the secretory vesicles containing neurotransmitter, the properties of the fusion pore formed during Ca2+-dependent exocytosis(More)
Voltage-clamp studies were carried out to compare currents through Ca2+ channels (ICa) with Na+ currents (Ins) through a non-selective cation conductance blocked by micromolar concentrations of external Ca2+. The gating of both currents was found to have similar time and voltage dependence. The amplitudes of ICa and Ins varied widely, but Ins was always(More)
To sustain high rates of transmitter release, synaptic terminals must rapidly re-supply vesicles to release sites and prime them for exocytosis. Here we describe imaging of single synaptic vesicles near the plasma membrane of live ribbon synaptic terminals. Vesicles were captured at small, discrete active zones near the terminal surface. An electric(More)
Ca(2+)-triggered exocytosis was studied in single rat melanotrophs and bovine chromaffin cells by capacitance measurements. Sustained exocytosis required MgATP, but even in the absence of MgATP, Ca2+ could trigger exocytosis of 2700 granules in a typical melanotroph and of 840 granules in a chromaffin cell. Granules undergoing ATP-independent exocytosis(More)
Neurons maintain a limited pool of synaptic vesicles which are docked at active zones and are awaiting exocytosis. By contrast, endocrine cells releasing large, dense-core secretory granules have no active zones, and there is disagreement about the size and even the existence of the docked pool. It is not known how, and how rapidly, secretory vesicles are(More)
Classical cell biology teaches that exocytosis causes the membrane of exocytic vesicles to disperse into the cell surface and that a cell must later retrieve by molecular sorting whatever membrane components it wishes to keep inside. We have tested whether this view applies to secretory granules in intact PC-12 cells. Three granule proteins were labeled(More)
Using flash photolysis of caged Ca2+ and the membrane capacitance to monitor exocytosis, we have studied the response of single melanotrophs to a step rise in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). Exocytosis begins with a rapid burst. This burst is followed by a slower phase, which is inhibited at cytosolic pH 6.2, and an ultraslow phase, which is(More)
We have observed secretory granules beneath the plasma membrane of chromaffin cells. Using evanescent-field excitation by epiillumination, we have illuminated a thin layer of cytosol where cells adhere to glass coverslips. Up to 600 frames could be recorded at diffraction-limited resolution without appreciable photodynamic damage. We localized single(More)