Assessment of Dopaminergic Homeostasis in Mice by Use of High-performance Liquid Chromatography Analysis and Synaptosomal Dopamine Uptake

Kathrine L Jensen, Annika H Runegaard, Pia Weikop, Ulrik Gether, Mattias Rickhag

10 Citations (Scopus)


Dopamine (DA) is a modulatory neurotransmitter controlling motor activity, reward processes and cognitive function. Impairment of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurotransmission is strongly associated with several central nervous system-associated diseases such as Parkinson's disease, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder and drug addiction1,2,3,4. Delineating disease mechanisms involving DA imbalance is critically dependent on animal models to mimic aspects of the diseases, and thus protocols that assess specific parts of the DA homeostasis are important to provide novel insights and possible therapeutic targets for these diseases. Here, we present two useful experimental protocols that when combined provide a functional read-out of the DAergic system in mice. Biochemical and functional parameters on DA homeostasis are obtained through assessment of DA levels and dopamine transporter (DAT) functionality5. When investigating the DA system, the ability to reliably measure endogenous levels of DA from adult brain is essential. Therefore, we present how to perform high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on brain tissue from mice to determine levels of DA. We perform the experiment on tissue from dorsal striatum (dStr) and nucleus accumbens (NAc), but the method is also suitable for other DA-innervated brain areas. DAT is essential for reuptake of DA into the presynaptic terminal, thereby controlling the temporal and spatial activity of released DA. Knowing the levels and functionality of DAT in the striatum is of major importance when assessing DA homeostasis. Here, we provide a protocol that allows to simultaneously deduce information on surface levels and function using a synaptosomal6 DA uptake assay. Current methods combined with standard immunoblotting protocols provide the researcher with relevant tools to characterize the DAergic system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number127
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2017


  • Journal Article


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