Dopaminergic Regulation of Striatal Acetylcholine Release: The Critical Role of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition

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This study examined the effects of different levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition on dopaminergic regulation of striatal acetylcholine (ACh) release as estimated by in vivo brain microdialysis. Systemic administration of d-amphetamine (2 or 10 mg/kg) increased the striatal output of ACh when the AChE inhibitor neostigmine (0.1 μM) was present in the perfusion fluid. In contrast, when the same experiments were conducted at 0.01 μM neostigmine, d-amphetamine failed to affect (2 mg/kg) or significantly decreased (10 mg/kg) striatal ACh output. The inhibitory action of the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (0.2 mg/kg) was significantly greater at 0.01 μM than at 0.1 μM neostigmine. Similarly, there was a nonsignificant trend for the D2 antagonist raclopride (1 mg/kg) to stimulate ACh release to a greater extent at the low neostigmine concentration. In contrast, the stimulant effects of systemic administration of the D1 agonist A-77636 (1.46 mg/kg) on striatal ACh release were the same at the two neostigmine concentrations. These results demonstrate that the concentration of an AChE inhibitor in the perfusion solution can quantitatively and even qualitatively influence the manner in which dopaminergic agents regulate ACh overflow in the striatum. On comparing the present results with earlier reports concerning the effects of d-amphetamine on tissue concentrations of ACh, it is tentatively concluded that a low neostigmine concentration is the more physiologically relevant condition. Under such conditions, at moderate doses d-amphetamine does not appear to alter striatal ACh release, with this likely being due to the opposing actions of D1 and D2 receptors. Nevertheless, until the endogenous interstitial concentrations of striatal ACh can be measured by other methods, the physiological relevance of ACh microdialysis studies in the striatum will remain uncertain.

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