Screening of thiol compounds: depolarization-induced release of glutathione and cysteine from rat brain slices

J Neurochem. 1992 Jul;59(1):181-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1992.tb08889.x.


Superfusates from rat brain slices were screened for thiol compounds after derivatization with monobromobimane by reversed-phase HPLC. Only glutathione and cysteine were detected. The Ca(2+)-dependent release of these compounds from slices of different regions of rat brain was investigated, applying a highly sensitive and reproducible quantification method, based on reduction of superfusates with dithiothreitol, reaction of thiols with iodoacetic acid, precolumn derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde reagent solution, and analysis with reversed-phase HPLC. This methodology allowed determination of reduced and total thiols in aliquots of the same superfusates. Mostly reduced glutathione and cysteine were released upon K+ depolarization and the Ca2+ dependency suggests that they originate from a neuronal compartment. The GSH release was most prominent in the mesodiencephalon, cortex, hippocampus, and striatum and lowest in the pons-medulla and cerebellum. This underscores a physiologically significant role for glutathione in CNS neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azaserine / pharmacology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cysteine / metabolism*
  • Diazooxonorleucine / pharmacology
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism*
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Diazooxonorleucine
  • Azaserine
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Glutathione
  • Cysteine