Involvement of Nitric Oxide in Dopaminergic Transmission in Rat Striatum: An In Vivo Electrochemical Study


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. A. M.-Y. Lin at Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Nangkang, Taipei, 11529, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Abstract: In vivo electrochemical detection with a Nafion-coated carbon fiber working electrode, which provides information on the spatial and temporal dynamics of dopamine overflow, was used to investigate the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in the dopaminergic transmission in the striatum of urethane-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. A mixture of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and nomifensine, a dopamine uptake blocker, was locally pressure-ejected to elicit a transient dopamine overflow from the dopamine-containing nerve terminals in the striatum. Local application of Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), which blocks endogenous NO formation, increased the magnitude of dopamine release evoked by a subsequent NMDA and nomifensine application but resulted in no significant alteration in the time course. Furthermore, microejection of l-arginine, an NO precursor, or sodium nitroprusside (SNP), an NO generator, did not cause detectable changes in dopamine level in the striatal extracellular space. However, NMDA-induced dopamine release was profoundly inhibited with l-arginine or SNP pretreatment. In addition, NO affects dopamine uptake in rat striatum. Exogenous dopamine applied through a micropipette, reversibly and reproducibly, elicited an electrochemical signal. The time course of these signals was significantly prolonged by l-NAME treatment. These data suggest that NO is diversely involved in regulating dopaminergic transmission in rat striatum.