The origin of cortical purine release was investigated by measuring [3H]purine release from electrically stimulated cortical slices of rats after neurotoxic lesions of cholinergic, noradrenergic and serotoninergic pathways innervating the cortex. Purines were labelled by incubating the cortical slices with [3H]adenine. The 3H efflux at rest and during stimulation, analysed by high performance liquid chromatography, consisted of adenosine, inosine, hypoxanthine and a small amount of nucleotides. Twenty days after unilateral or bilateral lesion of the nucleus basalis a marked decrease in choline acetyltransferase activity was associated with a decrease in [3H]purine release. A linear relationship was found between the decrease in choline acetyltransferase activity and [3H]purine release. A partial recovery in both choline acetyltransferase activity and [3H]purine release was observed eight months after the lesion. Twenty days after intra-cerebroventricular injection of 6-hydroxydopamine a 59% decrease in cortical noradrenaline content was associated with a 44% decrease in [3H]purine release. Conversely, no change in [3H]purine release was found in rats in which a 89% decrease in cortical serotonin content was induced by intra-cerebroventricular injection of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine. The decrease in [3H]purine release after the lesion of the cholinergic and noradrenergic pathways may depend on metabolic changes, a loss of a stimulating influence of acetylcholine and noradrenaline or may indicate a release of [3H]purine from cholinergic and noradrenergic fibres. © 1989.
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