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Acta Physiol Scand. 1981 Dec;113(4):437-45.

Extracellular ion concentrations during spreading depression and ischemia in the rat brain cortex.


We compared interstitial ion concentrations in rat brain cortex during two conditions where pronounced changes are observed: spreading depression and ischemia. Initially, during the two phenomena, an increase of [K+]e from 3 to approximately 10 mM were observed, but only small changes of the other ion concentrations. Hereafter, [K+]e exhibited a rapid increase (2-3 s) to 55 mM, whereas [Na+]e rapidly decreased to 60 mM, [Cl-]e to 75 mM, and [Ca++]e to 0.08 mM. The changes were accompanied by a rapid negative shift in the local electrical potential. However, there were differences in the ionic events during the two phenomena. In spreading depression, the initial [K+]e increase took place in 5-10 s, but in ischemia it lasted 1-2 min. The ionic perturbations were spontaneously reverted in SD, but in ischemia they proceeded further and reached after 5 min (mM): [K+]e 75, [Na+]e 50, [Cl-]e 72, and [Ca++]e 0.06. The similar chain of ionic events during spreading depression and ischemia suggests a common mechanism for the ionic changes, probably involving changes of ionic permeability of brain cells.

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