After being synthesized in the soma, neuropeptides are packaged in dense core vesicles (DCVs) and transported toward nerve terminals. It is known, from published experimental results, that in terminals with type Ib boutons DCVs circulate in the terminal, undergoing repeated anterograde and retrograde transport, while in type III terminals DCVs do not circulate in the terminal. Our goal here is to investigate whether the increased DCV production in the soma can lead to the appearance of DCV circulation in type III boutons. For this purpose we developed a mathematical model that simulates DCV transport in various terminals. Our model reproduces some important experimental results, such as those concerning DCV circulation in type Ib and type III terminals. We used the developed model to make testable predictions. The model predicts that an increased DCV production rate in the soma leads to increased DCV circulation in type Ib boutons and to the appearance of DCV circulation in type III boutons. The model also predicts that there are different stages in the development of DCV circulation in the terminals after they were depleted of DCVs due to neuropeptide release.

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