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J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Mar 15;151(2):97-105. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

Activation of membrane receptors by neurotransmitter released from temperature-sensitive hydrogels.

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Lions of Illinois Eye Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1855 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The present paper describes the design, construction and testing of a temperature-sensitive N-isopropylacrylamide hydrogel device for studying the controlled presentation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to GABA(C) membrane receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Upon temperature lowering, the GABA-loaded hydrogel positioned near the surface of the GABA(C)-expressing oocyte elicits a membrane current response resembling that induced by superfusion of the oocyte with free GABA. The response to cooling is not observed when GABA is omitted from the hydrogel loading solution. In addition, picrotoxin, a known GABA(C) receptor antagonist, inhibits the oocyte membrane current response associated with temperature lowering of GABA-loaded hydrogels. The data indicate that the present system affords a temperature-regulated release of GABA from the hydrogel and a resulting activation of the expressed GABA(C) receptors.

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