Suppression of presynaptic calcium currents by hypoxia in hippocampal tissue slices.
We tested the hypothesis that suppression of inward calcium current in presynaptic terminals is the cause of failure of synaptic transmission early during cerebral hypoxia. Postsynaptic responses in CA1 zone of hippocampal tissue slices were blocked either by the combined administration of 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX) and 3-((+-)-2-carboxypiperazine-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP) or by lowering extracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]o). Repetitive orthodromic activation of central neurons caused transient decrease of [Ca2+]o (measured by ion selective microelectrodes) in neuropil, attributable to influx of Ca2+ in presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic [Ca2+]o responses were rapidly and reversibly suppressed when oxygen was withdrawn from hippocampal tissue slices. The 'resting' baseline level of [Ca2+]o declined at first gradually, then precipitously as in spreading depression (SD). Presynaptic volleys during high frequency train stimulation were also depressed somewhat before SD began. We conclude that (1) presynaptic Ca2+ currents fail during hypoxia, perhaps because 'resting' intracellular free Ca2+ activity is increased and, in part, also because of partial failure of presynaptic impulse conduction; (2) the influx of Ca2+ into brain cells in hypoxic spreading depression is not mediated by glutamate/aspartate dependent channels.
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