Signaling by glutamatergic synapses plays an important role in visual processing in the retina. In this study, we used an enzyme-linked fluorescence assay system to monitor the dynamics of extracellular glutamate in a slice preparation from the mouse retina. High K stimulation induced an elevation of fluorescence in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of the retina when glutamate transporters were inhibited by DL-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid (TBOA). The high K-induced fluorescence signals in the IPL were inhibited by the calcium channel blocker Cd2+. Blockade of GABAergic and glycinergic circuits by picrotoxin and strychnine also elevated the fluorescence signals in the IPL. Thus, the enzyme-linked fluorescence assay system might be useful for monitoring the bulk concentration of extracellular glutamate released by synapses in the inner retina.
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