Cortical brain release of glutamate by ketamine and fluoxetine : an in vivo microdialysis study in the Flinders sensitive line rat
Visser, Gert Petrus
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In vivo intracranial microdialysis is a valuable technique yielding novel and useful insight into normal or pathological neurochemical processes in the brain by means of sampling of interstitial fluid of cells in a living animal. It's most important advantage is that it can continuously monitor time-related changes in the concentration of neurotransmitters and their metabolites, other neuromodulators, energy substrates, as well as exogenous drugs in the extracellular fluid of specific brain areas of interest. While the development and standardization of the intracranial microdialysis technique in our laboratory was the main aim of the current study, a pilot application study was also performed during which the effect of several locally administered pharmacological agents on brain glutamate levels in a genetic rat model of depression was investigated. Abnormal neuronal glutamate levels have been implicated in various psychiatric conditions including major depressive disorder. The Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) is a genetic line of Sprague-Dawley rat that displays various behavioral and neurochemical traits akin to that observed in depression. The Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rat is used as the normal control. The prefrontal cortex is an important brain area involved in the neuropathology of depression. Prefrontal cortical glutamate levels in a small number of FSL and FRL rats were therefore compared at baseline and following local administration of potassium chloride (100 mM), the latter in order to study changes in evoked glutamate release. Ketamine hydrochloride (9 mM) and fluoxetine (30 μM) respectively were also administered via reverse dialysis. Prior to initiating the microdialysis studies, an HPLC-fluorescence method was developed to analyze the levels of glutamate in the microdialysate. As part of the development and standardization of the microdialysis technique, a number of validation studies were performed. This included refining the stereotaxic surgery procedure, determining the most appropriate anesthesia protocol, and standardizing the microdialysis procedure with regard to perfusion fluid, flow rate, sample volume, duration of dialysis, and anatomical verification of probe location. The HPLC-fluorescence method for the analysis of glutamate was also developed and validated. This technique proved to be sensitive and specific for the determination of glutamate with a linearity of 0.991 in the concentration range of standards tested (0.1 – 10 μM) and an intra-assay repeatability (precision value) yielding relative standard deviations of less than 10.5%, Mean elution time was between 24 and 26 minutes for glutamate in the microdialysis sample and the limit of detection and quantification was both 0.1 μM. Results from the application study indicated that baseline values of glutamate in the prefrontal cortex did not differ between FRL and FSL rats during the 1 hour period of dialysis. However, potassium chloride-evoked glutamate release was greater in FSL vs. FRL rats, although this difference was not statistically significant. Local perfusion by reverse dialysis of ketamine hydrochloride produced statistically significant increases in glutamate concentrations at certain time points in FSL rats. Although glutamate levels were also increased in FRL rats in response to ketamine, it was not statistically different compared to baseline levels. Fluoxetine perfusion did not affect glutamate release in either of the two rat groups. In conclusion, we have successfully developed and established an intracranial in vivo microdialysis procedure in our laboratory, as well as standardized and validated a sensitive method to analyze glutamate in microdialysate samples. These techniques were then applied in a small number of FSL vs. FRL rats in order to confirm their application in a typical research scenario. Although the data were too limited to make any valid conclusions about glutamate concentrations in an animal model of depression or the effect of drugs on the release thereof, these novel techniques and analyses will be valuable in future studies.
- Health Sciences