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Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Jul;18(1):34-42.

Different alpha(2) adrenoceptor subtypes control noradrenaline release and cell firing in the locus coeruleus of wildtype and monoamine oxidase-A knockout mice.

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Academic Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London E1 1BB, United Kingdom.


In this study, we investigated which subtype(s) of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor control stimulated noradrenaline (NA) release and noradrenergic cell firing in the locus coeruleus (LC) of monoamine oxidase-A knockout (MAO-A KO) and C3H/HeJ wildtype mice. On short stimulus trains (10 pulses, 200 Hz), the alpha(2) agonist dexmedetomidine (10 nm) reduced NA efflux by 78 +/- 8% and 51 +/- 8% in wildtype and MAO-A KO mice, respectively. In both strains, BRL 44408 (100 nm) and ARC 239 (100 nm) each partially blocked the effect of dexmedetomidine. In MAO-A KO mice, BRL 44408 (100 nm) increased evoked NA efflux on short trains while ARC 239 (100 nm) had no effect. The two antagonists in combination increased NA efflux (by 81 +/- 34%, P < 0.001), significantly more than by BRL 44408 alone. Conversely, in wildtype mice, the alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonists did not significantly increase LC NA efflux. On long stimuli (30 pulses, 10 Hz), NA efflux was increased by BRL 44408 (P < 0.001) but not by ARC 239. The effect of BRL 44408 was significantly greater in MAO-A KO than wildtype mice (208 +/- 43% vs. 113 +/- 31% increase, P < 0.001). When we examined noradrenergic cell firing, we found that dexmedetomidine inhibited LC cell firing in both strains with comparable EC(50) values (2-5 nm), although E(max) was significantly lower in MAO-A KO mice (P < 0.001). The agonist effect was antagonized by BRL 44408 (P < 0.001) in wildtype but not in MAO-A KO mice, with a pK(B) of 7.75. ARC 239 had no effect on the agonist response in either strain. A combination of the antagonists was no more effective than BRL 44408 alone (in wildtypes) and had no effect in MAO-A KO mice. Neither BRL 44408 nor ARC 239 affected basal LC cell firing in wildtype or MAO-A KO mice. Collectively, these results suggest that, analogous to other monoamine cell groups, there are differences in the autoreceptor populations controlling NA efflux and LC cell firing and that important differences exist between MAO-A KO and wildtype mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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