Indexed on: 04 Apr '09Published on: 04 Apr '09Published in: Neurochemical Research
The release of neurotransmitters and modulators has been studied mostly using labeled preloaded compounds. For several reasons, however, the estimated release may not reliably reflect the release of endogenous compounds. The basal and K(+)-evoked release of the neuroactive endogenous amino acids GABA, glycine, taurine, L-glutamate and L-aspartate was now studied in slices from the hippocampus and brain stem from 7-day-old and 3-month-old mice under control and ischemic conditions. The release of synaptically not active L-glutamine, L-alanine, L-threonine and L-serine was assessed for comparison. The estimates for the hippocampus and brainstem were markedly different and also different in developing and adult mice. GABA release was much greater in 3-month-old than in 7-day-old mice, whereas with taurine the situation was the opposite, in the hippocampus in particular. K(+) stimulation enhanced glycine release more in the mature than immature brain stem while in the hippocampus the converse was observed. Ischemia enhanced the release of all neuroactive amino acids in both brain regions, the effects being relatively most pronounced in the case of GABA, aspartate and glutamate in the hippocampus in 3-month-old mice, and taurine in 7-day-old and glycine in 3-month-old mice in the brain stem. These results are qualitatively similar to those obtained on earlier experiments with labeled preloaded amino acids. However, the magnitudes of the release cannot be quite correctly estimated using radioactive labels. In developing mice only taurine release may counteract the harmful effects of excitatory amino acids in ischemia in both hippocampus and brain stem.