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Neuroscience. 1990;39(3):649-56.

Biochemical and in vivo voltammetric evidence for differences in striatal dopamine levels in inbred strains of mice.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9070.


High performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection and differential pulse voltammetry were used to provide a direct measurement of tissue content of dopamine and its metabolites and extracellular dopamine levels, respectively, in the striata of BALB/c and CBA inbred strains of mice. We found that levels of striatal dopamine and its metabolite, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, were significantly higher in the CBA strain than in the BALB/c strain, whereas levels of homovanillic acid were not significantly different between the strains. Levels of the dopamine metabolite 3-methoxytyramine, on the other hand, were higher in the BALB/c mice. Dopamine turnover rates were significantly higher in the CBA strain when the homovanillic acid/dopamine ratio was used as an index of dopamine activity. Voltammetric recording showed that the local infusion of K+ in pargyline-treated mice resulted in the immediate appearance of a peak at +85 mV, which has been shown to correspond to extracellular dopamine in the rat. The mean height of this peak detected in vivo following K+ stimulation corresponds to in vitro dopamine concentrations of 25 +/- 8 microM for BALB/c mice and 7 +/- 2 microM for CBA mice. K(+)-stimulated dopamine release in the BALB/c mice could be evoked every 10-15 min with similar magnitude. In contrast, very little dopamine release in CBA mice could be evoked after the first stimulation. Since striatal dopamine levels are higher in CBA mice, these data suggest that (a) BALB/c strain may have more dopamine in the readily releasable pool, whereas the CBA mice have a larger storage pool of dopamine, and/or (b) that dopamine uptake in the CBA mice is much more avid than in BALB/c.

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