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Life Sci. 2003 Mar 14;72(17):1909-18.

Prevention of neurotoxicity in hypoxic cortical neurons by the noble gas xenon.

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  • 1University Hospital Charité, Clinic for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Experimental Anesthesiology, FH 31, Spandauer Damm 130, 14050 Berlin, Germany. christian.petzelt@charite.de


Hypoxia-induced neuronal damage and glutamate release were investigated in a N(2)- or in xenon-atmosphere for embryonic rat cortical neurons; cellular damage and glutamate over-release were observed in N(2)-treated cells whereas xenon protected the cells from the hypoxic insult. The protective effect of xenon was strongly reduced by pre-incubating neurons with the calcium-chelator BAPTA-AM indicating a role for calcium in this process. The results demonstrate (a) the neuroprotective properties of xenon, suggest (b) a relationship between the prevention of neurotransmitter release in a hypoxic situation and neuroprotection and present (c) evidence that such neuroprotection may be based on yet other xenon-dependent mechanisms.

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