We subjected 10 New Zealand White rabbits to 10 minutes of global cerebral ischemia under either normothennic (37°C) or moderately hypothermic (29°C) conditions. Hippocampal concentrations of glutamate, aspartate, and glycine were monitored using in vivo microdialysis. Outcome was assessed by both neurological and neuropathologic criteria. Hypothermia afforded nearly complete protection from ischemic injury. Ischemia-induced increases in the concentrations of glutamate, aspartate, and glycine in the nonn othermic group (3, 12, and 3 times baseline) were strikingly attenuated in the hypothermic group. In addition, the prolonged postischemic elevation of glycine levels seen in the normothennic group was absent in the hypothermic group. These results suggest that the neuroprotective properties of hypothermia may reside, in part, in their ability to prevent increases in the extracellular concentrations of amino acids that enhance the activity of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor complex.
- Amino acids
- Cerebral ischemia