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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effects of non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonists on rats exposed to hyperbaric pressure.

The high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS) occurs when man or animals are exposed to hyperbaric pressure. Four non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists - MK-801, phencyclidine ( PCP), SKF 10,047 and ketamine were tested in rats for effects on the HPNS. All drugs were injected i.p. prior to compression; ketamine was also infused i.v. Control rats received saline. Rats were exposed individually to increasing helium pressure (PO2 0.5 atmospheres absolute ATA). Three endpoints were used to assess HPNS: onset pressures for tremor, myoclonus and convulsions. Neither MK-801 (0.03 and 0.3 mg/kg) nor SKF 10,047 (50 mg/kg) had any effect on the onset pressures for tremor, myoclonus or convulsions, although the type of seizure was modified from the clonic/tonic seizure seen in controls to purely clonic. PCP (5 mg/kg) had no effect on the endpoints, but pressure enhanced the excitation and stereotypy seen at 1 ATA. Ketamine (100 mg/kg i.p.) did not affect tremor or myoclonus; ketamine infused i.v. at pressure only prevented tremor and myoclonus at 'anaesthetizing' concentrations. Our results show that these non-competitive NMDA antagonists had little effect on HPNS, in contrast to competitive NMDA antagonists, such as AP7, which are highly effective. Possible explanations for this lack of effect include (1) interactions with NMDA receptor channels are pressure dependent; (2) other actions of these antagonists override their effects on the NMDA receptor channel.[1]


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