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J Vis Exp. 2012 Nov 21;(69). pii: 3798. doi: 10.3791/3798.

Single cell measurement of dopamine release with simultaneous voltage-clamp and amperometry.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida, Florida, USA.

Abstract

After its release into the synaptic cleft, dopamine exerts its biological properties via its pre- and post-synaptic targets(1). The dopamine signal is terminated by diffusion(2-3), extracellular enzymes(4), and membrane transporters(5). The dopamine transporter, located in the peri-synaptic cleft of dopamine neurons clears the released amines through an inward dopamine flux (uptake). The dopamine transporter can also work in reverse direction to release amines from inside to outside in a process called outward transport or efflux of dopamine(5). More than 20 years ago Sulzer et al. reported the dopamine transporter can operate in two modes of activity: forward (uptake) and reverse (efflux)(5). The neurotransmitter released via efflux through the transporter can move a large amount of dopamine to the extracellular space, and has been shown to play a major regulatory role in extracellular dopamine homeostasis(6). Here we describe how simultaneous patch clamp and amperometry recording can be used to measure released dopamine via the efflux mechanism with millisecond time resolution when the membrane potential is controlled. For this, whole-cell current and oxidative (amperometric) signals are measured simultaneously using an Axopatch 200B amplifier (Molecular Devices, with a low-pass Bessel filter set at 1,000 Hz for whole-cell current recording). For amperometry recording a carbon fiber electrode is connected to a second amplifier (Axopatch 200B) and is placed adjacent to the plasma membrane and held at +700 mV. The whole-cell and oxidative (amperometric) currents can be recorded and the current-voltage relationship can be generated using a voltage step protocol. Unlike the usual amperometric calibration, which requires conversion to concentration, the current is reported directly without considering the effective volume(7). Thus, the resulting data represent a lower limit to dopamine efflux because some transmitter is lost to the bulk solution.

PMID:
23207721
PMCID:
PMC3529514
DOI:
10.3791/3798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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