Monitoring the Stimulated Release of Dopamine with In Vivo Voltammetry. II: Clearance of Released Dopamine from Extracellular Fluid

Andrew G. Ewing, R. Mark Wightman

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87 Scopus citations


Abstract: Microvoltammetric electrodes implanted in the caudate nucleus of the anesthetized rat have been used to monitor dopamine released following electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle. These electrodes are fabricated from unmodified carbon fibers and have been used with normal pulse voltammetry. Dopamine appears in the vicinity of the electrode when the stimulation is initiated, and disappears almost immediately when the stimulation is terminated. The data suggest that the effective diffusion distance is < 100 μm. Postmortem analysis using liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection shows that dopamine released in this manner is metabolized to 3,4‐dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC); however, neither substance is observed electrochemically in the extracellular fluid within seconds after the stimulation. In addition, inhibitors of neuronal uptake of dopamine, amphetamine (1.8 or 15 mg · kg−1) or benztropine (25 mg · kg−1), or of dopamine metabolism, pargyline (150 mg · kg−1) or tropolone (100 mg · kg−1), do not significantly affect the rate at which dopamine disappears from extracellular fluid, although they can affect the amount released. These results suggest that dopamine cannot freely diffuse in the extracellular fluid because an extraneuronal uptake mechanism exists that clears dopamine from extracellular fluid into an extraneuronal pool where metabolism to 3,4‐dihydroxyphenylacetic acid occurs. Dopamine can be observed during electrical stimulation of the ascending fibers because neuronal and extraneuronal uptake systems are unable to remove dopamine on these short time scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-577
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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