Analysis of high intracellular [Na+]-induced release of [3H]noradrenaline in rat hippocampal slices

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Our aim was to investigate the mechanisms involved in the high intracellular sodium-induced transmitter release in the CNS through the characterisation of the veratridine-evoked (40 μM) noradrenaline release from rat hippocampal slices. The response to veratridine was completely inhibited by tetrodotoxin (1 μM), indicating that the effect is due to the activation of sodium channels. Omission of Ca2+ from the superfusion fluid inhibited the veratridine-evoked release by 72%, showing that the majority of release results from external Ca2+-dependent exocytosis. The residual Ca2+-independent release was not blocked by the intracellular Ca2+ chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N,N-tetraacetic acid acetoxymethyl ester (100 μM) suggesting that intracellular Ca2+ stores are not involved in this component of veratridine effect. The noradrenaline uptake blockers, desipramine (10 μM) and nisoxetine (10 μM), inhibited the external Ca2+-independent release by 50 and 46%, respectively, indicating that the release partly originates from the reversal of transporters (carrier-mediated release). In contrast to uptake blockers, lowering the temperature, another possibility to inhibit transporter function, completely inhibited the effect of veratridine in the absence of Ca2+. Further experiments revealed that low temperature (20 and 12°C) reduces the veratridine-induced increase of intracellular sodium concentration ([Na+]i) in rat cortical synaptosomes (68 and 78% inhibition, respectively). The clinical relevance of our data is that during ischemia a massive release of transmitters occurs mainly due to the elevation of [Na+]i, which contributes to the development of ischemic brain injury. Our results show that low temperature may be a better therapeutic approach to the treatment of ischemia because it has a dual action on this process. Firstly, it inhibits the function of uptake transporters and hence reduces the carrier-mediated outflow of transmitters. Secondly, it inhibits the sodium influx and therefore prevents the unwanted elevation of [Na+]i. Our data also suggest that veratridine stimulation can be a suitable model for ischemic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-768
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2001



  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N,N-tetraacetic acid acetoxymethyl ester
  • Ca-independent transmitter release
  • Carrier-mediated release
  • Intracellular sodium concentration
  • Ischemia
  • Veratridine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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