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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vivo voltammetry with micro-biosensors for analysis of neurotransmitter release and metabolism.

In vivo voltammetry involves the electrochemical detection of central oxidisable substances in situ. In association with this technique micro carbon fibre electrodes (CFE) are able to separate ascorbic acid (Peak 1) from 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) plus dopamine (DA) (Peak 2) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAAA) plus serotonin (5-HT) (Peak 3) in vitro. In vivo these biosensors detect the amine metabolites, due to their high extracellular concentration (microM) compared to the amines (nM). In addition homovanillic acid (HVA) (or 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT) in pargyline-pretreated mice) (Peak 4) and somatostatin (Peak 5) were also measured in vivo. However, potassium-stimulated release of DA has been directly monitored in pargyline pretreated mice. In addition, low concentrations (nM) of DA and 5-HT can now be selectively monitored in vitro with new biosensors coated with Nafion which repels negatively charged species including acid metabolites. In vivo, the combination of the Nafion-CFE and normal CFE allowed simultaneous measurements of release and metabolism of 5-HT, respectively. This permitted the observation that changes in 5-HT release are not necessarily reflected by changes in 5-HIAA levels. At present we are developing a Nafion biosensor to monitor basal extracellular DA. Electron microscope studies have shown radical modifications in the surface and structure of carbon fibres following chemical and electrical pretreatments, which may be involved in the development of sensitivity and selectivity displayed by the pretreated CFE towards electroactive compounds. A new approach for selective detection of neuroamines is the analysis of their stimulated fluorescence using LASER. In vitro, the fluorescence of 5-HT is in fact clearly distinguishable from that of 5-HIAA. The feasibility of this methodology in vivo using fiber optic probes will be explored.[1]


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