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J Neurochem. 1998 Aug;71(2):684-92.

Coupled effects of mass transfer and uptake kinetics on in vivo microdialysis of dopamine.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Voltammetric microelectrodes and microdialysis probes were used simultaneously to monitor extracellular dopamine in rat striatum during electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle. Microelectrodes were placed far away (1 mm) from, immediately adjacent to, and at the outlet of microdialysis probes. In drug-naive rats, electrical stimulation (45 Hz, 25 s) evoked a robust response at microelectrodes far away from the probes, but there was no response at microelectrodes adjacent to and at the outlet of the probes. After nomifensine administration (20 mg/kg i.p.), stimulation evoked robust responses at all three microelectrode placements. These results demonstrate first that evoked release in tissue adjacent to microdialysis probes is suppressed in comparison with evoked release in tissue far away from the probes and second that equilibration of the dopamine concentration in the extracellular fluid adjacent to and far away from the probes is prevented by the high-affinity dopamine transporter. Hence, models of microdialysis, which assume the properties of tissue to be spatially uniform, require modification to account for the distance that separates viable sites of evoked dopamine release from the probe. We introduce new mass transfer resistance parameters that qualitatively explain the observed effects of uptake inhibition on stimulation responses recorded with microdialysis and voltammetry.

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