Neurochemical Research

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 437–443 | Cite as

Cytosolic-free calcium and neurotransmitter release with decreased availability of glucose or oxygen

  • Gary E. Gibson
  • Thomas Manger
  • Lourdes Toral-Barza
  • Gary Freeman
Original Articles


Exposing brain slices to reduced oxygen tensions or impairing their ability to utilize oxygen with KCN decreases acetylcholine (ACh) but increases dopamine (DA) and glutamate in the medium at the end of a release incubation. To determine if these changes are due to alterations in the presynaptic terminals, release from isolated nerve endings (i.e. synaptosomes) was determined during histotoxic hypoxia (KCN). KCN reduced potassium-stimulated synaptosomal ACh release and increased dopamine and glutamate release. Since several lines of evidence suggest that altered calcium homeostasis underlies these changes in release, the effects of reducing medium calcium concentrations from 2.3 to 0.1-mM were determined. In low calcium medium, KCN still increased dopamine and glutamate release, but had no effect on ACh release. Hypoxia increased cytosolic-free calcium in both the normal and low calcium medium, although the elevation was less in the low calcium medium. Thus, the effects of histotoxic hypoxia on cytosolic free calcium concentration paralleled those on glutamate and dopamine release. Reducing the glucose concentration of the medium also increased cytosolic-free calcium. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that hypoxia and hypoglycemia increase cytosolic-free calcium, which stimulates the release of dopamine and glutamate, whose excessive release may lead to subsequent cellular damage postsynaptically.

Key Words

Hypoxia calcium release acetylcholine dopamine glutamate neurotransmitters 



counts per second


fura-2 acetoxymethylester




cytosolic free calcium concentration






N-tris[hydroxymethyl]methyl-2-aminoethanesulfonic acid


the ratio of the fluorescence of fura at 510 nm after excitation at 340 nm to that after excitation at 380 nm in the absence of calcium


or to that in the presence of saturating calcium




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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary E. Gibson
    • 1
  • Thomas Manger
    • 1
  • Lourdes Toral-Barza
    • 1
  • Gary Freeman
    • 1
  1. 1.Burke Rehabilitation CenterCornell University Medical CollegeWhite Plains

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