Direct measurement of adenosine release during hypoxia in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampal slice



  • 1We have used an enzyme-based, twin-barrelled sensor to measure adenosine release during hypoxia in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices in conjunction with simultaneous extracellular field recordings of excitatory synaptic transmission.
  • 2When loaded with a combination of adenosine deaminase, nucleoside phosphorylase and xanthine oxidase, the sensor responded linearly to exogenous adenosine over the concentration range 10 nM to 20 μM.
  • 3Without enzymes, the sensor when placed on the surface of hippocampal slices recorded a very small net signal during hypoxia of 40 ± 43 pA (mean ±s.e.m.; n= 7). Only when one barrel was loaded with the complete sequence of enzymes and the other with the last two in the cascade did the sensor record a large net difference signal during hypoxia (1226 ± 423 pA; n= 7).
  • 4This signal increased progressively during the hypoxic episode, scaled with the hypoxic depression of the simultaneously recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potential and was greatly reduced (67 ± 6.5 %; n= 9) by coformycin (0.5-2 μM), a selective inhibitor of adenosine deaminase, the first enzyme in the enzymic cascade within the sensor.
  • 5For 5 min hypoxic episodes, the sensor recorded a peak concentration of adenosine of 5.6 ± 1.2 μM (n= 16) with an IC50 for the depression of transmission of approximately 3 μM.
  • 6In slices pre-incubated for 3-6 h in nominally Ca2+-free artificial cerebrospinal fluid, 5 min of hypoxia resulted in an approximately 9-fold greater release of adenosine (48.9 ± 17.7 μM; n= 6).
  • 7High extracellular Ca2+ (4 mM) both reduced the adenosine signal recorded by the sensor during hypoxia (3.5 ± 0.6 μM; n = 4) and delayed the hypoxic depression of excitatory synaptic transmission.