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Science 293 (5539): 2465-2470

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dendrodendritic Inhibition Through Reversal of Dopamine Transport

Björn H. Falkenburger, Karen L. Barstow, Isabelle M. Mintz*

Synapses in the central nervous system are usually defined by presynaptic exocytotic release sites and postsynaptic differentiations. We report here a demonstration of dendrodendritic inhibition that does not engage a conventional synapse. Using amperometric and patch-clamp recordings in rat brain slices of the substantia nigra, we found that blockade of the dopamine transporter abolished the dendritic release of dopamine and the resulting self-inhibition. These findings demonstrate that dendrodendritic autoinhibition entails the carrier-mediated release of dopamine rather than conventional exocytosis. This suggests that some widely used antidepressants that inhibit the dopamine transporter may benefit patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: imintz{at}bu.edu



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