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J Neurochem. 1987 Mar;48(3):722-8.

Cellular origins of endogenous amino acids released into the extracellular fluid of the rat striatum during severe insulin-induced hypoglycemia.


The effect of severe insulin-induced hypoglycemia on the extracellular levels of endogenous amino acids in the rat striatum was examined using the brain microdialysis technique. A characteristic pattern of alterations consisting of a 9-12-fold increase in aspartate (Asp), and more moderate increases in glutamate (Glu), taurine (Tau), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), was noted following cessation of electroencephalographic activity (isoelectricity). Glutamine (Gln) levels were reduced both during and after the isoelectric period and there was a delayed increase in extracellular phosphoethanolamine (PEA) content. The effects of decortication and excitotoxin lesions on the severe hypoglycemia-evoked efflux of endogenous amino acids in the striatum were also examined. Decortication reduced the release of Glu and Asp both 1 week and 1 month post-lesion. The efflux of other neuroactive amino acids was not affected significantly. In contrast, GABA, Tau, and PEA efflux was attenuated in kainate-lesioned striata. Glu and Asp release was also reduced under these conditions, and a smaller decrease in extracellular Gln was noted. These data suggest that GABA, Glu, and Asp are released primarily from their transmitter pools during severe hypoglycemia. The releasable pools of Tau and PEA appear to be located in kainate-sensitive striatal neurons. The significance of these results is discussed with regard to the excitotoxic theory of hypoglycemic cell death.

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