Electrochemical Methods for Determining the Mechanism of Spontaneous Adenosine Release

Lee, Scott, Chemistry - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Venton, Barbara, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia

Adenosine is a neuromodulator and neuroprotective agent in the central nervous system. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is a method of measuring rapid changes in adenosine concentration in real-time, making it useful for neuroscience research. Spontaneous, transient adenosine is a new form of adenosine signaling discovered in the brain that is unstimulated and has recently been characterized with FSCV. Research on adenosine transients has been focused on how it is formed, how it is regulated, what receptor it act at, and what function it serves. This thesis will cover the characterization of adenosine transients using FSCV to measure these events in brain slices.
The background of adenosine will be covered in Chapter 1. This chapter will cover the formation, regulation, and functions of adenosine in the brain. Electrochemical techniques used in neuroscience research will be covered as well, with an emphasis on FSCV, but covering biosensors and adenosine specific research in the FSCV field, particularly using brain slices as an experimental platform. Chapter 2 will address a known interferent of adenosine with FSCV, histamine. There are conflicting views on histamine oxidation and this chapter will explore the electrochemical behavior of histamine and investigate the oxidation product of histamine using spectroscopic techniques.
Chapters 3-4 will be focused on measuring adenosine transients in brain slices. Chapter 3 will demonstrate that brain slices are a viable method to measure transients and that the frequency, concentration, and duration of adenosine transients are comparable to what has been observed in vivo. This chapter will also investigate regional differences in adenosine transients by exploring the prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and hippocampus. Chapter 4 will investigate the release mechanism of adenosine transients, finding that transients are neither activity dependent nor are they released through pannexin 1 channels. Finally, Chapter 5 will present the final conclusions of this research and describe the future of transient adenosine research, with a focus on how determining the mechanism of transient release will allow for a more directed approach to researching the function of adenosine as a neuromodulator and neuroprotective agent.
This thesis provides deeper understanding into the characteristics of spontaneous, transient adenosine. It provides insight into circumventing problems with interferents such as histamine. It also demonstrates regional differences in rapid adenosine signaling and rules out some of the possible mechanisms of formation. A stronger understanding of spontaneous, transient adenosine will help researchers investigate alternative therapeutic approaches to neuromodulation and neuroprotection.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
electrochemistry, adenosine, histamine, neuroscience, microelectrodes
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