Monitoring gamma-aminobutyric acid in human brain and plasma microdialysates using micellar electrokinetic chromatography and laser-induced fluorescence detection

J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1999 Nov 26;735(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(99)00386-2.


Due to its low electrophoretic mobility, few studies have been able to measure gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in biological samples by means of capillary zone electrophoresis. Nevertheless, in micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) by adding a surfactant to the mobile phase separation can be carried out on the basis of the partition coefficient of the molecules rather than their electrophoretic mobility. In the present study microdialysis coupled to MEKC with laser induced fluorescence detection was used to successfully monitor GABA from cerebrospinal fluid and plasma dialysates. Moreover, we monitored changes in extracellular GABA from a human brain. Microdialysis samples were collected from a Parkinson's disease patient undergoing a thallamotomy as part of her treatment. Significant decreases in extracellular GABA were detected during high frequency electrical stimulation and following a thermolesion of the thalamus. These results demonstrate the feasibility of MEKC coupled to laser-induced fluorescence detection in resolving neutral amino acids, specifically GABA, from different human body fluids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Micellar Electrokinetic Capillary / methods*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Female
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Humans
  • Microdialysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • Thalamus / surgery
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analysis*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / blood*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate