L-aspartate and L-glutamate were microiontophoretically applied onto Purkinje cells and unidentified cerebellar neurons of urethane-anesthetized rats. Both amino acids produced a dose-dependent increase in the spontaneous firing rate of all cells tested. Fifty-three percent (8 of 15 cells) of the dose-response relationships for L-aspartate as compared to those for L-glutamate on Purkinje cells were not parallel, implying different mechanisms of action (suggesting different receptors). On these 8 Purkinje cells, L-glutamate was three times more potent than L-aspartate. Only thirty-three percent of the dose-response relationships (8 of 24 cells) for the two agents on the unidentified cerebellar cells were not parallel. There was no statistical difference in the potency of L-aspartate as compared to L-glutamate on these particular cells. Tests for antagonism on Purkinje cells revealed L-glutamic acid diethyl ester (GDEE) to be a more effective blocker of L-aspartate than of L-glutamate while DL-α-aminoadipic acid (DLαAA) was not selective in antagonizing the action of either amino acid. These data are discussed in terms of L-aspartate functioning as a neurotransmitter in the cerebellum of rat and possessing receptor sites distinct from those for L-glutamate.
- Purkinje cells L-aspartate L-glutamate GDEE
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