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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Oct 16;407(1):91-5. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Effects of N-methyl-D-aspartate on extracellular citrulline level in the rat nucleus accumbens.

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Laboratory of Higher Nervous Activity, I.P. Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 6 Admiral Makarov Embankment, St. Petersburg 199034, Russia.


In vivo microdialysis combined with high-performance liquid chromatography and electrochemical detection was used to study effects of intraaccumbal infusion of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) on the content of extracellular citrulline (a nitric oxide co-product) in the medial nucleus accumbens of Sprague-Dawley rats. The intraaccumbal NMDA infusion (10-1000 microM) dose-dependently increased the local dialysate citrulline levels (193+/-7% and 258+/-7% versus basal for the 100 and 1000 microM, respectively). The NMDA-induced increase of extracellular citrulline was completely prevented by intraaccumbal infusions through the dialysis probe both of 50 microM dizocilpine maleate (an NMDA antagonist) and of 0.5 mM N-nitro-L-arginine (a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor). Local infusion of N-nitro-L-arginine (0.5 mM) slightly decreased basal citrulline levels in the nucleus accumbens throughout the entire period of the infusion, whereas dizocilpine maleate (50 microM) had no long-lasting effect. These results suggest that NMDA receptor stimulation of the medial nucleus accumbens might cause a local nitric oxide synthase activation resulting in nitric oxide production in this brain area.

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