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An α2-adrenoceptor inhibits noradrenaline (NA) release in the locus coeruleus (LC) of the rat brain assessed by in vivo microdialysis

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The regulation of α2-adrenoceptors on somatodendritic noradrenaline (NA) release from the locus coeruleus (LC) of conscious and freely moving rats was studied by using in vivo microdialysis. The concentration of NA in the dialysate (20 min/sample) from LC was measured by HPLC combined with electrochemical detection. The extracellular NA levels were completely abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 μM for 120 min) perfused locally to LC via the dialysis membrane. The perfusion of clonidine (100μM for 60 min), an α2-adrenoceptor agonist, in LC resulted in significant decreases in the extracellular NA levels in LC, whereas significant increase in NA levels was brought when yohimbine (100 μM for 60 min), an alpha;2-adrenoceptor antagonist, was perfused to the nucleus. These results suggest that NA present in the extracellular space is released in LC and this release receives inhibitory regulation via α2-adrenoceptor located on somatodendrites in LC.


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