Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Improved techniques for examining rapid dopamine signaling with iontophoresis
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Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is utilized in brain circuits associated with reward processing and motor activity. Advances in microelectrode techniques and cyclic voltammetry have enabled its extracellular concentration fluctuations to be examined on a subsecond time scale in the brain of anesthetized and freely moving animals. The microelectrodes can be attached to micropipettes that allow local drug delivery at the site of measurement. Drugs that inhibit dopamine uptake or its autoreceptors can be evaluated while only affecting the brain region directly adjacent to the electrode. The drugs are ejected by iontophoresis in which an electrical current forces the movement of molecules by a combination of electrical migration and electroosmosis. Using electroactive tracer molecules, the amount ejected can be measured with cyclic voltammetry. In this review we will give an introduction to the basic principles of iontophoresis, including a historical account on the development of iontophoresis. It will also include an overview of the use of iontophoresis to study neurotransmission of dopamine in the rat brain. It will close by summarizing the advantages of iontophoresis and how the development of quantitative iontophoresis will facilitate future studies.