Preferential release of ATP and its extracellular catabolism as a source of adenosine upon high- but not low-frequency stimulation of rat hippocampal slices

J Neurochem. 1996 Nov;67(5):2180-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1996.67052180.x.


The release of adenosine and ATP evoked by electrical field stimulation in rat hippocampal slices was investigated with the following two patterns of stimulation: (1) a brief, high-frequency burst stimulation (trains of stimuli at 100 Hz for 50 ms applied every 2 s for 1 min), to mimic a long-term potentiation (LTP) stimulation paradigm, and (2) a more prolonged (3 min) and low-frequency (5 Hz) train stimulation, to mimic a long-term depression (LTD) stimulation paradigm. The release of ATP was greater at a brief, high-frequency burst stimulation, whereas the release of [3H]adenosine was slightly greater at a more prolonged and low-frequency stimulation. To investigate the source of extracellular adenosine, the following two pharmacological tools were used: alpha, beta-methylene ADP (AOPCP), an inhibitor of ecto-5'-nucleotidase, to assess the contribution of the catabolism of released adenine nucleotides as a source of extracellular adenosine, and S-(4-nitrobenzyl)-6-thioinosine (NBTI), an inhibitor of adenosine transporters, to assess the contribution of the release of adenosine, as such, as a source of extracellular adenosine. At low-frequency stimulation, NBTI inhibited by nearly 50% the evoked outflow of [3H]-adenosine, whereas AOPCP inhibited [3H]adenosine outflow only marginally. In contrast, at high-frequency stimulation, AOPCP inhibited by 30% the evoked release of [3H]adenosine, whereas NBTI produced a 40% inhibition of [3H]adenosine outflow. At both frequencies, the kinetics of evoked [3H]adenosine outflow was affected in different manners by AOPCP and NBTI; NBTI mainly depressed the rate of evoked [3H]adenosine outflow, whereas AOPCP mainly inhibited the later phase of evoked [3H]adenosine accumulation. These results show that there is a simultaneous, but quantitatively different, release of ATP and adenosine from rat hippocampal slices stimulated at frequencies that can induce plasticity phenomena such as LTP (100 Hz) or LTD (5 Hz). The source of extracellular adenosine is also different according to the frequency of stimulation; i.e., at a brief, high-frequency stimulation there is a greater contribution of released adenine nucleotides for the formation of extracellular adenosine than at a low frequency with a more prolonged stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Long-Term Potentiation*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors
  • Tritium


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • alpha,beta-methyleneadenosine 5'-diphosphate
  • Tritium
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Adenosine