Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurochem Int. 2003 Sep-Oct;43(4-5):299-303.

Excitotoxic mechanism of cell swelling in rat cerebral cortical slices treated acutely with ammonia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurotoxicology, Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawińskiego 5, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland.


Swelling of CNS cells due to endogenous ammonia is a major cause of cerebral oedema in hyperammonaemic encephalopathies. In the present study, incubation in the presence of 5mM ammonium acetate ("ammonia") decreased steady-state distribution of [14C]inulin within incubated rat cerebrocortical minislices, indicating cell swelling. NMDA receptor antagonists, MK-801 ((+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo [a,d]cycloheptene-5,10-imine maleate,10 microM) and DL-AP-5 (DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid, 250 microM), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-nitroarginine (L-NNA, 500 microM), and an antioxidant, taurine (Tau, 10 mM), markedly attenuated the cell volume-increasing effect of ammonia. The effect of Tau (10mM) was abolished by the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline (100 microM), but was unaffected by the Tau transport inhibitor guanidynoethyl-sulfonate (GES, 500 microM). Ammonia increased the slice content of Gln, an amino acid whose excess accumulation has been implicated in hyperammonemic oedema. However, treatments that reduced the cell volume did not affect Gln content. These results indicate that ammonia-induced cell swelling is in a large degree mediated by overactivation of NMDA receptors and the ensuing generation of NO and free radicals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk