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Exp Neurol. 1992 Aug;117(2):204-9.

Hypoxia increases extracellular concentrations of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in subsequently induced seizure: in vivo microdialysis study in the rabbit.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics (Pediatric Neurology), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


It is uncertain whether a brief hypoxic exposure exerts long lasting effects on central nervous system amino acid neurotransmission. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a short period of hypoxia would affect release of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids during subsequent bicuculline-induced seizure. Utilizing in vivo microdialysis in cerebral cortex of rabbits, we observed no significant increase in extracellular fluid (ECF) concentrations of the excitatory amino acids, glutamate and aspartate, or the inhibitory amino acids, GABA and taurine, during a 30-min exposure to hypoxia (FiO2 = 0.08). In addition, there was no significant change in these amino acids during uncomplicated seizure. However, when seizure was complicated by a preceding period of hypoxia, there was a marked and progressive rise in both excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in ECF. We conclude that a short period of hypoxia, which itself does not cause changes in ECF concentrations of excitatory amino acids, may nonetheless contribute to neuronal injury by altering the levels of ECF amino acids during a subsequent insult.

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