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Neuroscience. 1994 Sep;62(1):87-91.

The physiologically induced release of ascorbate in rat brain is dependent on impulse traffic, calcium influx and glutamate uptake.

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University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, U.K.


Extracellular brain ascorbate fluctuates with neuronal activity. There is previous evidence that the release of ascorbate is triggered by the re-uptake of neuronally released glutamate. This hypothesis predicts that drugs which block the release and re-uptake of glutamate will also block the release of ascorbate. In the present experiments we have used a novel dialysis electrode which allows continuous monitoring of physiologically induced ascorbate release from the striatum in freely moving rats. An infusion of the enzyme ascorbic acid oxidase abolished the increase in oxidation current in response to tail-pinch, which identified it as an ascorbate current. Perfusion with tetrodotoxin reduced the response to 25% and with CdCl2 to 4% of control. Perfusion with the uptake blocker L-trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-di-carboxylate reduced the response to 24% of control. A neuroprotective function for this coupling of ascorbate and glutamate release is discussed.

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