GABA Release in Vivo and in Vitro: Responses to Physiological and Chemical Stimuli

  • Harry F. Bradford


Studying the release of neurotransmitters from in vitro preparation presents special problems of possible artefact. The preparation of tissue slices, isolated ganglia, synaptosomes and their like always involves damaging tissue elements, whose partial or substantial recovery, usually by membrane-resealing, during subsequent incubation, is their limiting feature. It is unlikely that this recovery is ever complete and therefore the performance of such preparations, however sophisticated must be regarded with suspicion. In this respect amino acid neurotransmitters are a special case due to their ubiquitous presence in neural cells and their high concentrations (x 103) compared to other neurotransmitters. This renders more likely the possibility of artefact due to leakage through damaged membranes or diffusional loss down high concentration gradients enhanced by high fluid: tissue ratios. Where release is evoked by depolarizing agents such as veratrine or tityustoxin which stimulate active Na+ channels, and whose actions are entirely suppressed by tetrodotoxin, a much greater degree of confidence is engendered in the relevance of these transmitter release signals to the synaptic events which occur in the intact nervous system.


Brachial Plexus Sensorimotor Cortex Gaba Release Gaba Uptake Amino Acid Release 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry F. Bradford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryImperial CollegeLondonEngland

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