Hypothermia (33° C) dramatically diminishes ischemic but not hypoglycemic brain damage. The beneficial effects of hypothermia in ischemia have been partly attributed to a reduction in the ischemia-induced increase in synaptic levels of glutamate or aspartate. With the microdialysis technique, we studied the effects of hypothermia (33° C) on the brain extracellular levels of glutamate and aspartate during hypoglycemia, ischemia, and their combination. In isoelectric hypoglycemia, striatal levels of glutamate and aspartate frequently show large transients of transmitter release occurring during both normothermia and hypothermia, whereas in the cortex levels of glutamate and aspartate are slightly lower during hypothermia compared with normothermia. In both regions studied, complete ischemia induced by i.v. KCl results in a progressive increase in glutamate and aspartate levels over time. In normoglycemic animals, hypothermia markedly attenuates the increase in glutamate and aspartate levels in the striatum but not in the cortex. Also in hypoglycemic animals, complete ischemia causes a progressive increase in the glutamate and aspartate levels. However, hypothermia affects only striatal glutamate levels. Since hypothermia protects both cortex and striatum against ischemic brain injury and not against hypoglycemic injury, presumably the protective effect of hypothermia is due to factors other than prevention of glutamate or aspartate overflow.
Experimental Brain Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 1998
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