Excitatory sulphur amino acid-evoked neurotransmitter release from rat brain synaptosome fractions

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The neuroactive sulphur-containing amino acids L-cysteate (CA), L-cysteine sulphinate (CSA), L-homocysteine sulphinate (HSA), S-sulpho-L-cysteine (SC) and L-homocysteate (HCA) evoked the release of previously accumulated D-[3H]aspartate from rat brain cerebrocortical and cerebellar synaptosome fractions in a manner that was wholly Ca2+-independent. However, analysis of endogenous release by hplc revealed the presence of both Ca2+-dependent and -independent components of L-glutamate release but only a Ca2+-independent component of L-aspartate release. CA, CSA, HSA and SC but not HCA evoked the release of previously accumulated [3H]GABA from synaptosome fractions by a mechanism shown to comprise both a Ca2+-dependent and -independent component. The specific antagonists of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, 3-[(±)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl]propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP) and the relatively selective competitive quisqualate (QUIS)/kainate (KA) receptor antagonist, 6-cyano-7-dinitroquinoxalinedione (CNQX), were ineffective in blocking the excitatory sulphur amino acid-evoked release of either D-[3H]aspartate, [3H]GABA or of endogenous established transmitter amino acids.