Abstract: Endogenous amino acid release was examined in highly purified striatal neurons obtained from fetal mouse brain, and differentiated in primary culture. This study aimed to determine which amino acids are released from striatal neurons after a brief depolarization period induced by elevated potassium concentration or veratrine. Amino acids released into the extracellular medium, subsequent to a 3‐min exposure of striatal neurons, were subjected to HPLC analysis. At 14 days in vitro potassium (56 mM) depolarization elicited a 25‐fold increase in γ‐aminobutyric acid release, 85% of which was calcium‐dependent. This effect was small but apparent at 7 days in vitro (two‐fold increase) and greatly increased between 11 and 14 days in vitro, subsequent to the appearance of synaptic vesicles in nerve terminals. γ‐Aminobutyric acid release was readily reversible within minutes of return to the resting state. Veratrine induced a quantitatively similar but calcium‐independent increase in γ‐aminobutyric acid release. Similar results were observed on aspartate and glutamate release, but the increase was very small even after 14 days in vitro (62.2 and 123.3% increase over basal release, respectively). Taurine and hypotaurine release increased during and after depolarization induced by potassium. This effect remained constant between 11 and 18 days in vitro. BAY K. 8644, a dihydropyridine‐sensitive calcium channel agonist, augmented the effect of 15 mM potassium on γ‐aminobutyric acid release, but this effect remained very small as compared to the potassium (56 mM) or veratrine effects. In addition, nifedipine inhibited this BAY K 8644‐induced release. These results demonstrate the high level of differentiation among striatal neurons containing γ‐aminobutyric acid in this in vitro system.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1986
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