Pre-treatment with BAY K 8644, an L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels agonist, produced long-term enhancement (LTE) of over 2 h of high K+-evoked dopamine release from rat striatal slices. Exposure to BAY K 8644 under Ca2+-free conditions did not enhance this release. Thus, a transient activation of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels followed by Ca2+ entry can trigger LTE of the evoked DA release from striatal tissues. This type of LTE in the striatum underlines the importance of presynaptic mechanisms, including L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels of 'long-term potentiation' expression.
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