Zinc ions have key regulatory, structural, and catalytic functions and mediate a variety of intra- and intercellular processes. The hippocampal mossy fiber boutons contain large amounts of free or loosely bound vesicular zinc, which can be co-released with glutamate. Zinc can interact with a variety of ionic channels (N-VDCCs, L-VDCCs, KATP), glutamate receptors (AMPA, KA, NMDA 2A, 2B), glutamate transporters (GLAST, EAAT4), and molecules (ATP). The dynamic properties of cleft free, complexed, and total zinc were addressed, considering the known concentration and affinity of various cleft zinc sensitive sites, mainly in the postsynaptic area and in glial cells. The computer model included three different zinc release processes, with short, medium, and long duration, described, like the uptake ones, by alpha functions. The results suggest that, depending on the amount of release, zinc clearance is largely due, either, to zinc binding to NMDA 2A receptor sites or to glial GLAST transporters.
Part of the book: Advances in Neural Signal Processing