- Cerebrocortical neurons that store and release zinc synaptically are widely recognized as critical in maintenance of cortical excitability and in certain forms of brain injury and disease. Through the last 20 years, this synaptic release has been observed directly or indirectly and reported in more than a score of publications from over a dozen laboratories in eight countries. However, the concentration of zinc released synaptically has not been established with final certainty. In the present work we have considered six aspects of the methods for studying release that can affect the magnitude of zinc release, the imaging of the release, and the calculated concentration of released zinc. We present original data on four of the issues and review published data on two others. We show that common errors can cause up to a 3000-fold underestimation of the concentration of released zinc. The results should help bring consistency to the study of synaptic release of zinc.