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Brain Res. 1987 Sep 1;419(1-2):294-302.

DL-2-[3,4-3H]amino-4-phosphonobutyrate binding sites in the rat hippocampus: distribution and possible physiological role.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Southampton, U.K.


Binding sites for the novel, glutamate-like radioligand DL-2-[3,4-3H]amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (DL-[3H]APB) on rat hippocampal synaptic membranes were identified and characterised. The existence of a single, saturable population of binding sites was demonstrated. These appeared to be indistinguishable, in terms of their pharmacological profile and ionic dependence, from those described previously in the striatum and whole brain. The distribution of these sites was also examined using a number of discrete neuronal lesions. A majority of sites (approx. 55%) were located on dentate gyrus granule cells. Smaller populations appeared to be situated on perforant path terminals and on pyramidal cells. However, L-APB was found to be ineffective as an inhibitor of basal and potassium evoked D-[3H]aspartate release from hippocampal slices. A presynaptic location can therefore presumably be ruled out. The likely postsynaptic location of DL-[3H]APB-binding sites in the hippocampus suggests that this site may be involved in synaptic neurotransmission. This possibility is discussed with regard to electrophysiological data concerning the synaptic pharmacology of neuronal connections within the hippocampus.

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