Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The neuronal origin of extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), glutamate (Glu), aspartate (Asp) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) simultaneously collected from the neostriatum of halothane anaesthetized rats with in vivo microdialysis was studied. The following criteria were applied (1) sensitivity to K+-depolarization; (2) sensitivity to inhibition of synaptic inactivation mechanisms; (3) sensitivity to extracellular Ca2+; (4) neuroanatomical regionality; sensitivity to selective lesions and (5) sensitivity to chemical stimulation of the characterized pathways. It was found that: (1) Extracellular DA levels found in perfusates collected from the neostriatum fulfills all the above criteria and therefore the changes in extracellular DA levels measured with microdialysis reflect actual release from functionally active nerve terminals, and so reflect ongoing synaptic transmission. (2) Changes in neostriatal ACh levels reflect neuronal activity, provided that a ACh-esterase inhibitor is present in the perfusion medium. (3) Extracellular Glu, Asp and GABA could be measured in different perfusion media in the rat neostriatum and probably reflect metabolic as well as synaptic release. However, (4) the majority of the extracellular GABA levels found in perfusates collected from the neostriatum may reflect neuronal release, since GABA levels were increased, in a Ca2+-dependent manner, by K+-depolarization, and could be selectively decreased by an intrinsic neostriatal lesion. (5) It was not possible to clearly distinguish between the neuronal and the metabolic pools of Glu and Asp, since neostriatal Glu and Asp levels were only slightly increased by K+-depolarization, and no changes were seen after decortication. A blocker of Glu re-uptake, DHKA, had to be included in the perfusion medium in order to monitor the effect of K+-depolarization on Glu and Asp levels. Under this condition, it was found (6) that neostriatal Glu and Asp levels were significantly increased by K+-depolarization, although only increases in the Glu levels were sensitive to Ca2+ in the perfusion medium, suggesting that Glu but not Asp is released from vesicular pools. (7) Evidence is provided that selective stimulations of nigral DA cell bodies may lead to changes in release patterns from DA terminals in the ipsilateral neostriatum, which are in turn followed by discrete changes in extracellular levels of GABA and Glu in the same region. Finally, some methodological considerations are presented to clarify the contribution of neuronal release to extracellular levels of amino acid neurotransmitters in the rat neostriatum.
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