Neurochemical Research

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 563–571 | Cite as

Distribution and release of adenosine triphosphate in rat brain

  • P. H. Wu
  • J. W. Phillis
Original Articles


The steady-state level of brain ATP was measured after the tissue had been treated with a focused microwave irradiation system. The brain ATP content (1.50 nmol/mg tissue) obtained by microwave fixation is similar to that observed by others using fast-freezing and microwave fixation techniques. The concentrations of ATP in different brain regions show a rather uniform distribution, ranging from 1.918±0.059 (brainstem) to 2.393±0.19 (caudate) nmol/mg tissue; however, insufficient microwave fixation time seems to produce a greater regional variation of ATP. Release of ATP was investigated by placing a cup on the sensory-motor cortex. The rate for basal release of ATP is 1.43±0.14 femtomole/min/mm2. A 30-fold increase in ATP release was obtained by direct stimulation of the cortex with 5 mA pulses of 0.2 msec duration at a rate of 20/sec over a period of 10 min. These results, in conjunction with others describing the potent pharmacological action of the nucleotide, seem to suggest that ATP could be a mediator in a “purinergic” system in the CNS.


Adenosine Triphosphate Microwave Irradiation Fixation Time Pharmacological Action 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Wu
    • 1
  • J. W. Phillis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology College of MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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