Temporal relationship between neurotransmitter release and ion flux during spreading depression and anoxia

B. Moghaddam, J. O. Schenk, W. B. Stewart, A. J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Brain ion homeostasis is severely perturbed during spreading depression of Leao and during anoxia. The ionic composition of the extracellular space changes abruptly and approaches the intracellular concentrations owing to an increase in cell permeability. In spreading depression, synchronous transmitter efflux caused by a depolarization of the presynaptic terminals has been implicated as a possible mechanism that would explain the concomitant movement of ions. Anoxia, having many features in common with spreading depression, may follow the same mechanism. We have measured the concentrations of extracellular potassium with ion-selective microelectrodes and dopamine by in vivo voltammetry with carbon fiber microelectrodes during spreading depression and anoxia to compare the temporal relationship between the release of dopamine and ion movements in the striatum. There is a pronounced release of dopamine during both spreading depression and anoxia. In spreading depression, the sharp increase of potassium concentration that follows an initial smaller and slower increase of potassium is accompanied by the release of dopamine. In anoxia, the dopamine release clearly precedes the fast rise of extracellular potassium concentration. We conclude that in striatum, there is a pronounced dopamine release during spreading depression and anoxia, but that the relationships between ionic changes and transmitter release for these two phenomena are different and probably reflect different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1110
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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