We have previously shown that Regulator of Calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) regulates multiple stages of vesicle exocytosis. However, the mechanisms by which RCAN1 affects secretory vesicle exocytosis and quantal release kinetics remain unknown. Here we use carbon fiber amperometry to detect exocytosis from chromaffin cells and identify these underlying mechanisms. We observe reduced exocytosis with repeated stimulations in chromaffin cells overexpressing RCAN1 (RCAN1(ox) ), but not in wild type (WT) cells, indicating a negative effect of RCAN1 on vesicle recycling and endocytosis. Acute exposure to calcineurin inhibitors, cyclosporine A and FK-506, replicates this effect in WT cells but has no additional effect in RCAN1(ox) cells. When we chronically expose WT cells to cyclosporine A and FK-506 we find that catecholamine release per vesicle and pre-spike foot (PSF) signal parameters are decreased, similar to that in RCAN1(ox) cells. Inhibiting calcineurin activity in RCAN1(ox) cells has no additional effect on the amount of catecholamine release per vesicle but further reduces PSF signal parameters. While electron microscopy studies indicate these changes are not due to altered vesicle number or distribution in RCAN1(ox) cells, the smaller vesicle and dense core size we observe in RCAN1(ox) cells may underlie the reduced quantal release in these cells. Thus, our results indicate that RCAN1 most likely affects vesicle recycling and quantal release kinetics via the inhibition of calcineurin activity. (c) 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry, J. Neurochem. (2012) 10.1111/jnc.12086.