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Eur J Pharmacol. 1998 Apr 17;347(1):67-70.

Dexamethasone augments ischemia-induced extracellular accumulation of glutamate in gerbil hippocampus.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitology, Ehime University School of Medicine, Japan.


Glucocorticoids exacerbate neuronal damage due to hypoxia, ischemia, seizure and hypoglycemia. Because the release of glutamate is closely involved in neuronal damage, the effects of dexamethasone on the ischemia-induced accumulation of extracellular amino acids (aspartate, glutamate, and glycine) were investigated in the gerbil hippocampal CA1 region by a microdialysis-high-performance liquid chromatography procedure in vivo. There were no differences in the extracellular concentrations of amino acids before ischemia between the control group and the dexamethasone (3m microg, i.c.v.)-injected group. The concentration of glutamate reached 246% of that before ischemia within 2.5 min of transient forebrain ischemia. Dexamethasone augmented the increase in glutamate to 508% of that before ischemia. This finding suggests that glucocorticoids aggravate ischemic neuronal damage by causing glutamate to accumulate in the extracellular space.

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