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

Amino Acids. 2000;19(1):45-52. doi: 10.1007/s007260070032.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism*
  • Ventral Tegmental Area / cytology
  • Ventral Tegmental Area / metabolism*


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Dopamine