The present study describes the effect of (S)-2,3-dihydro-[3, 4]cyclopentano-1,2,4-benzothiadiazine-1,1-dioxide (S18986-1), a positive allosteric modulator of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptors with cognitive-enhancing effects, on (S)-AMPA-induced [3H]noradrenaline release in rat hippocampal and frontal cortex slices. (S)-AMPA significantly increased [3H]noradrenaline release in rat hippocampus and frontal cortex slices, whereas S18986-1 (3-1000 microM) alone, was inactive. However, S18986-1 between 30 and 1000 microM potently enhanced (+200%) (S)-AMPA-mediated [3H]noradrenaline release in both hippocampal and frontal cortex slices. The capacity of S18986-1 to potentiate [3H]noradrenaline release was specific for AMPA receptors as S18986-1 failed to potentiate either kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated release of [3H]noradrenaline in rat hippocampal slices. Moreover, 1, 2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dioxo-benzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX) and 1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-methylcarbamoyl-4-methyl-3, 4-dihydro-7,8-methylenedioxy-5H-2,3-benzodiazepine (GYKI-53655) but not (5R,10S)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5, 10-imine ((+)-MK-801), inhibited (S)-AMPA and S18986-induced stimulation of (S)-AMPA-mediated [3H]noradrenaline release. In addition, S18986-1-induced stimulation of (S)-AMPA-evoked [3H]noradrenaline release was markedly attenuated in the presence of tetrodotoxin (1 microM) and in Ca(2+)-free buffer. S18986-1 enhanced (S)-AMPA-mediated [3H]noradrenaline release to a greater extent than its corresponding (R)-enantiomer S19024-1 and racemic mixture S17951-1. However, positive allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors such as aniracetam failed to potentiate AMPA-mediated noradrenaline release in hippocampal slices, whereas cyclothiazide potently enhanced (S)-AMPA-mediated [3H]noradrenaline release. These results suggest that the capacity of S18986-1 to enhance AMPA receptor-mediated release of noradrenaline in rat hippocampus and frontal cortex, could contribute to the cognition enhancing mechanisms of S18986-1.