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Neurochem Res. 2014 May;39(5):833-42. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1277-3. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Involvement of connexin43 in the infrasonic noise-induced glutamate release by cultured astrocytes.

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Department of Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy, The First Affiliated Hospital, Chinese PLA General Hospital, No.51 Fucheng Road, Beijing, 100048, People's Republic of China.


Infrasonic noise/infrasound is a type of environmental noise that threatens public health as a nonspecific biological stressor. Glutamate-related excitotoxicity is thought to be responsible for infrasound-induced impairment of learning and memory. In addition to neurons, astrocytes are also capable of releasing glutamate. In the present study, to identify the effect of infrasound on astroglial glutamate release, cultured astrocytes were exposed to infrasound at 16 Hz, 130 dB for different times. We found that infrasound exposure caused a significant increase in glutamate levels in the extracellular fluid. Moreover, blocking the connexin43 (Cx43) hemichannel or gap junction, decreasing the probability of Cx43 being open or inhibiting of Cx43 expression blocked this increase. The results suggest that glutamate release by Cx43 hemichannels/gap junctions is involved in the response of cultured astrocytes to infrasound.

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