Zinc transporter-3 (ZnT-3), a member of a growing family of mammalian zinc transporters, is expressed in regions of the brain that are rich in histochemically reactive zinc (as revealed by the Timm's stain), including entorhinal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. ZnT-3 protein is most abundant in the zinc-enriched mossy fibers that project from the dentate granule cells to hilar and CA3 pyramidal neurons. We show here by electron microscopy that ZnT-3 decorates the membranes of all clear, small, round synaptic vesicles (SVs) in the mossy fiber boutons of both mouse and monkey. Furthermore, up to 60-80% of these SVs contain Timm's-stainable zinc. The coincidence of ZnT-3 on the membranes of SVs that accumulate zinc, and its homology with known zinc transporters, suggest that ZnT-3 is responsible for the transport of zinc into SVs, and hence for the ability of these neurons to release zinc upon excitation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 11 1997|
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