A method for concurrent measurement of picomole quantities of acetylcholine, choline, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, tryptophan, tyrosine, glycine, aspartate, glutamate, alanine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid in single tissue samples from different areas of rat central nervous system

J. E. Smith, J. D. Lane, P. A. Shea, W. J. McBride, M. H. Aprison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Scopus citations


A rapid and sensitive method for separation and concurrent assay of 14 compounds at the picomole level in individual rat brain parts is described. The putative amino acid neurotransmitters (aspartate, γ-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and glycine) are extracted from a 20-30 mg portion of the tissue with 5% TCA and assayed as their respective DNP-amino acid methyl ester derivatives by glc. Four other putative neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) and some of their precursors and metabolites (choline, tryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and tyrosine) are extracted in 1 n formic acid-acetone ( v v: 15 85) from the remaining tissue. The lipids are removed with a heptane-chloroform ( v v: 8 1) wash and the aqueous phase is dried at 37°C under N2. The dried extract is dissolved in water (pH 4). With one portion of this solution, acetylcholine and choline are assayed using a radioenzymatic method whereas with the rest, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, 5-hydroxytryptophan, tryptophan, and tyrosine are separated with three ion exchange resins arranged in tandem. These compounds are assayed fluorometrically with modified microadaptations of previously reported methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-169
Number of pages21
JournalAnalytical biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1975


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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