AAT Bioquest

How does calcium cause exocytosis?

Posted January 20, 2021


In neuronal cells, calcium is instrumental in stimulating synaptic vesicle exocytosis and the release of neurotransmitters such as ATP. When a presynaptic action potential arrives at a nerve terminal it activates voltage-gated calcium channels which cause an increase in intracellular calcium at the active zone. This influx of calcium into the terminal triggers exocytosis.

In endocrine cells, calcium triggers large dense-core vesicle (LDCV) exocytosis and the release of hormones.

Additional resources

Intracellular Ions

Synaptic vesicle exocytosis and increased cytosolic calcium are both necessary but not sufficient for activity-dependent bulk endocytosis

Cell Meter™ Flow Cytometric Calcium Assay Kit