Review Article

Amino Acids

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 45-52

First online:

Dale's principle and glutamate corelease from ventral midbrain dopamine neurons

  • D. SulzerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Columbia University,
  • , S. RayportAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Columbia University,

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While direct application of dopamine modulates postsynaptic activity, electrical stimulation of dopamine neurons typically evokes excitation. Most of this excitation appears to be due to activation of collateral pathways; however, several lines of evidence have suggested that there is a monosynaptic component due to glutamate corelease by dopamine neurons. Recently, more direct evidence obtained in culture has shown that ventral midbrain dopamine neurons release both dopamine and glutamate. Moreover, they appear to do so from separate release sites, calling into question recent modifications of Dale's Principle. The neurochemical phenotype of a given synapse may be determined by subcellular neurotransmitter levels, uptake, or storage. However, the relationship between dopamine and glutamate release from dopamine neuron synapses in the intact brain – and the mechanisms involved – has yet to be resolved.

Keywords: Amino acids Autapses VMAT2 Substantia nigra Ventral tegmental area Phosphate-activated glutaminase Tyrosine hydroxylase