Characterisation of the DA-ergic system in the mediobasal hypothalamus: a new approach to simultaneously monitor the release of DA from the TIDA neurons and the PRL secretion from the adenohypophysis in awake rats.Brain Res. 1994 Sep 19; 657(1-2):275-80.BR
The TIDA neurons, which constitute part of the arcuate nucleus-ME complex, play an important inhibitory role in the regulation of the PRL secretion from the adenohypophysis. To simultaneously study the release of DA from the TIDA neurons and the PRL secretion from the adenohypophysis in awake rats, a microdialysis probe was implanted into the MBH together with a permanent heartcannula in male rats. The extracellular levels of DA in the MBH as measured by microdialysis decreased to 25% of basal values after local infusion of TTX (1 mumol/l), indicating that the released DA was directly derived from neuronal activity. DOPAC levels were not affected. This local infusion of TTX into the MBH induced parallel to the immediate decrease in DA levels, a profound increase in PRL concentration in the blood (from 10 to 55 ng/PRL-RP-2/ml) directly after infusion. Thus, the area in which the dialysis probe was inserted indeed included the DA-ergic neurons that regulate the PRL secretion. Evidence for a functional re-uptake system in the MBH was obtained by local infusion of the re-uptake inhibitor nomifensine (5 mumol/l) which induced an increase in DA release to 350% of basal values, without affecting the DOPAC levels. In spite of this increase in DA levels, the PRL concentration in the blood was not affected. In pseudopregnant female rats, relatively high levels of extracellular DA in the MBH were obtained during the interphase during which the PRL levels are low, while lower DA levels were apparent during the phase the spontaneous nocturnal PRL surge normally appears. Taken together, the approach presented in this study, i.e. the simultaneous measurements of DA in the MBH and PRL in the blood, establishes an advanced method enabling studies on the DA-PRL interactions in awake animals.