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

Regional amino acid distribution in relation to function in insulin hypoglycaemia.

The amino acids glutamate, aspartate, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamine were measured as their dansyl derivatives in whole brain and specific brain regions by a sensitive double-labelling technique at various times during the development of hypoglycaemic encephalopathy. Hypoglycaemia was induced by administration of insulin (100 i.u./kg) to 24-h fasted rats. No significant changes in glutamate, GABA, or glutamine were detected in whole brain at any time up to and including the onset of hypoglycaemic convulsions. In cerebral cortex, however, GABA levels were reduced to 65% or normal prior to the appearance of neurological symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Onset of symptoms (severe catalepsy and loss of righting reflex, but before the onset of convulsions) was accompanied by marked decreases of glutamate and glutamine in striatum and hippocampus. These regions, in addition to cerebral cortex, show the greatest vulnerability to hypoglycaemic insult, according to previous anatomical studies. Aspartate levels were significantly increased (p less than 0.01) in the cerebral cortex of convulsing animals, confirming a previous report. No changes were detectable in any of the amino acids studied in medulla-pons at any time during the progression of hypoglycaemia. Cerebral cortex and striatum showed a selective net loss of amino acids (2.2 and 3.5 mumol/g. respectively) prior to the onset of insulin-hypoglycaemic convulsions.[1]


  1. Regional amino acid distribution in relation to function in insulin hypoglycaemia. Butterworth, R.F., Merkel, A.D., Landreville, F. J. Neurochem. (1982) [Pubmed]
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