Dynamic analysis of ethanol effects on NMDA-evoked dopamine overflow in rat striatum

Brain Res. 1995 Oct 23;696(1-2):15-20. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)00688-m.


This study was undertaken to dynamically examine the effects of ethanol on the striatal dopaminergic transmission, in terms of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-evoked dopamine release and dopamine uptake. In the striatum of urethane-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats, extracellular dopamine was measured using in vivo electrochemical detection coupled with a nafion-coated carbon fiber working electrode. Micro-ejection of NMDA evoked a transient dopamine release from the dopamine-containing nerve terminals in striatum. Local application of ethanol by pressure ejection did not elicit significant changes in spontaneous dopamine release. However, with ethanol pretreatment, the time course of NMDA-induced dopamine release was markedly prolonged while the magnitude and the rate of clearance were significantly reduced. These effects were compared to those of nomifensine, a dopamine uptake blocker. Nominfensine pretreatment was found to augment the time course of NMDA-evoked dopamine release analogous to those by ethanol pretreatment. Furthermore, pretreatment with ethanol did not increase the time course parameters of dopamine signals if dopamine releases were induced by co-application of NMDA and nominfensine. These data suggest that in addition to the attenuation of NMDA-evoked dopamine release, ethanol inhibits dopamine uptake in a similar fashion to that observed with nomifensine in situ in the striatum. Indeed, ethanol altered the uptake of exogenous dopamine from the extracellular space of striatal cortex. The time course of dopamine signals was prolonged and the rate of clearance was reduced after ethanol treatment. Taken together, our data demonstrate that ethanol simultaneously inhibits NMDA-evoked dopamine release and dopamine uptake in the striatum, suggesting the importance of the interplay between release and uptake in ethanol effects on striatal dopaminergic transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Extracellular Space / drug effects
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Male
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology*
  • Neostriatum / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Nerve Endings / drug effects
  • Nerve Endings / metabolism
  • Nomifensine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Nomifensine
  • Ethanol
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Dopamine