Neuroeffector Ca2+ transients for the direct measurement of purine release and indirect measurement of cotransmitters in rodents

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Abstract

Determining whether ATP and noradrenaline are released from the same vesicle at mature autonomic neuroeffector junctions is challenging because of the difficulty of simultaneously detecting the packeted release of these neurotransmitters. Contraction, overflow and electrophysiology experiments all show that both ATP and noradrenaline are released following field stimulation (although the ratio might vary) from autonomic nerves in tissues including the vas deferens, rat tail artery and mesenteric artery. The occurrence of purinergic neuroeffector Ca(2+) transients (NCTs) has been used to detect the packeted release of the neurotransmitter ATP acting on postjunctional P2X receptors to cause Ca(2+) influx. Neuroeffector Ca(2+) transients can also be used to detect the local effects of noradrenaline through its alpha(2)-adrenoceptor-mediated prejunctional autoinhibitory effects on nerve terminal Ca(2+) concentration and the probability of exocytosis (measured by counting NCTs). Evidence is presented that exocytosis from sympathetic varicosities does not occur in a manner independent of the history of that varicosity, but rather that the release of a packet of ATP transiently suppresses (or predicts the transient suppression of) subsequent release. This could arise by autoinhibition (by the prejunctional action of noradrenaline or purines) or due to a transient shortage of vesicles readily available for release. In summary, two high-resolution approaches are proposed to measure the intermittent release of packets of neurotransmitter: (1) local transient suppression of nerve terminal Ca(2+) transients; and (2) the local and transient inhibition of NCTs to infer local autoinhibition, hence transmitter release. Such approaches may allow the packeted corelease of ATP and noradrenaline to be investigated without the need to measure both neurotransmitters directly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume94
Issue number1
Early online date19 Sep 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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