Effects of glucose deficiency on glutamate/aspartate release and excitatory synaptic responses in the hippocampal CA1 area in vitro.
The effects of glucose deficiency on (1) the K+-evoked release of glutamate and aspartate and (2) excitatory synaptic transmission were studied in the Schaffer collateral-commissural-ipsilateral associational (SCCIA) projection to area CA1 of the rat hippocampal formation in vitro. Compared with 1 or 10 mM glucose, superfusion of CA1 slices with 0.1 mM glucose enhanced the K+-evoked release of both glutamate and aspartate, increased the ratio of aspartate release to glutamate release and did not affect the release of GABA. With both high and low glucose concentrations, the K+-evoked release of glutamate and aspartate originated predominantly from a Ca2+-sensitive store associated with the SCCIA projection. Superfusion with glucose-deficient medium abolished the inhibitory effect of adenosine on glutamate and aspartate release, but augmented the enhancing effect of the adenosine antagonist 8-phenyltheophylline. These results suggest that enough endogenous adenosine was released from the slices under these conditions to saturate the presynaptic A1 receptors. Despite its facilitatory effect on excitatory transmitter release, glucose-deficient medium inhibited transmission at Schaffer collateral-commissural synapses. Even when the postsynaptic response to a single electrical pulse was abolished, however, a substantial response could still be evoked through paired-pulse or frequency potentiation and the inhibition promptly reversed upon superfusion with 10 mM glucose. The increased ratio of aspartate release to glutamate release appears to reflect changes in the tissue content of these amino acids. The enhanced release of both excitants is suggested to result partly from a rise in intraterminal Ca2+ concentration and partly from inhibition of glutamate/aspartate uptake. Enhanced aspartate release may be particularly relevant to hypoglycemic damage in the CA1 area, because aspartate is a more potent hippocampal excitotoxin than glutamate.
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