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Neurochem Res. 1998 Aug;23(8):1021-5.

Hypoosmolarity induces an increase of extracellular N-acetylaspartate concentration in the rat striatum.

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  • 1Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


We previously showed that extracellular levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) increase when a medium with reduced NaCl concentration is perfused through a microdialysis probe, and proposed that NAA may be released during hypoosmotic swelling. Here, we demonstrate that this effect is due to hypoosmolarity of the perfusion medium, and not to low NaCl. NAA changes in the dialysate were compared with those of taurine as the osmoregulatory role of this amino acid is established. Reduction of the NaCl concentration in the perfusion medium increased the dialysate levels of NAA and taurine, but this effect was abolished when NaCl was replaced by sucrose to maintain isosmolarity. The NAA response to hypoosmolarity was smaller than that of taurine, but it may still be important to neurons as NAA is predominantly neuronal in the mammalian CNS.

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