The push-pull superfusion technique (PPST) is a procedure for in vivo examination of transmitter release in distinct brain areas. This technique allows to investigate dynamics of transmitter release both under normal and experimentally evoked conditions. The PPST can be modified so that it is possible to determine release of endogenous transmitters simultaneously with electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, recordings of evoked potentials or the on-line determination of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) released into the synaptic cleft. Because of the good time resolution, the method provides further the possibility to modify the collection periods of superfusates depending on the neuronal function that is analyzed. For instance, investigation of central cardiovascular control, behavioral tasks or mnemonic processes requires very short collection periods, because changes in transmitter release occur within seconds. Even more important is the time resolution when rates of transmitter release are correlated with evoked extracellular potentials or EEG recordings. This review provides an overview of the different devices which might be combined with the PPST and perspectives for future work.
Keywords: Behaviour, central cardiovascular control, electroencephalogram (EEG), evoked potentials, neurotransmitters, nitric oxide (NO) on-line determination, push-pull superfusion technique (PPST), oscillations, ultradian rhythm.