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Brain Res Bull. 1978 Nov-Dec;3(6):601-9.

14C-dopamine microinjected into the brain-stem of the rat: dispersion kinetics, site content and functional dose.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27514.


A morphological analysis was undertaken of both the dispersion characteristics and tissue content of dopamine (DA) microinjected acutely into the brain-stem of the anesthetized rat. 14C-DA, with a specific activity of 56-62 mCi/mMol, was infused unilaterally into the pars compacta of the substantia nigra in one of four test volumes: 0.5, 1.0, 4.0 or 8.0 microliters. The concentration of the 14C-DA solution was 1.0 microCi/microliter, equivalent to 3.01 micrograms/microliters, which was delivered at an injection rate of 1.0 microliter per 45 sec. At an interval of either one min or 15 min following the microinjection, the rat's brain was removed rapidly from its calvarium, flash frozen and then cut in the coronal plane on a freezing microtome in 500 micron slabs. After each of the respective serial slabs was mounted on glass, the Eik Nes-Brizzee trochar technique for the discrete removal of tissue samples was used to obtain 0.5 mm dia. cylindrical plugs of meso-diencephalic tissue at distances from the site of injection ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 mm, center to center. Each sample plug was subsequently solubilized and 14C-DA activity quantitated by liquid scintillation spectrometry. The results show that regardless of volume, the spatial patterning of the microinjected solution assumes a tear-drop or pear shape, not a sphere. Further, as the volume of the injection is increased from 0.5 to 8.0 microliters, the magnitude of the dispersion of 14C-DA is enhanced throughout the surrounding parenchyma, but not in a linear fashion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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