Electrically-evoked release of norepinephrine in the rat cerebellum: an in vivo electrochemical and electrophysiological study

Paula Bickford-Wimer, Kevin Pang, Greg M. Rose, Greg A. Gerhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Norepinephine (NE) release from the locus coeruleus (LC) afferents to the cerebellar cortex of urethane anethetized rats was achieved by electrical stimulation of the locus coeruleus or by local administration of potassium into the cerebellum. Both methods evoked an overflow of NE-like electroactive species. Electrically-evoked and potassium-induced overflow of NE-like responses were found to be reversible and reproducible. Releases were not observed in cerebellar white matter, an area which is relatively devoid of monoamine containing terminals. Systemic administration of desipramine, a potent and selective norepinephrine re-uptake blocker, significantly augmented the electrically-evoked electrochemical responses. Measurements of evoked release tajen using high-speed chronoamperometry support the idea that a predominant contributor to electrically-induced signals was NE. Electrophysiological recordings of single Purkinje cells were performed with the same Nafion-coated single carbon fiber electrodes used for electrochemical recordings. Electrical stimulation of the LC was seen to depress Purkinje cell firing rates; an increase in electroactive species was detected at the same site that paralleled the time course of the electrophysiological response. These studies provide further direct evidence that the LC norepinephrine-containing cells have a direct inhibitory effect on Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, and that both pre- and postsynaptic events can be measured with the same recording sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 6 1991


  • Carbon fiber
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Norepinephrine
  • Potassium-evoked release
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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