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Neurotoxicology. 2004 Mar;25(3):461-70.

Exocytosis: using amperometry to study presynaptic mechanisms of neurotoxicity.

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Section Neurobiology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 320, 1098 SM Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The development of carbon fiber microelectrode amperometry enabled detailed investigation of the presynaptic response at the single cell level with single vesicle resolution. Consequently, amperometry allowed for detailed studies into the presynaptic mechanisms underlying neurotoxicity. This review describes the results from recent amperometric studies regarding the effects of environmental pollutants and drugs of abuse on vesicular catecholamine release. The observed alterations in neurotransmitter release are generally believed to affect the communication between neurons and to influence their development, maintenance and survival. Therefore, the alterations in neurotransmitter release can be used as one of many measures for the neurotoxic potential of substances. Hence, it is likely that the use of amperometry leads to a better understanding of the presynaptic mechanisms of neurotoxicity.

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