Dynamics of Volatile Buffers in Brain Cells during Spreading Depression

  • Richard P. Kraig
  • Mitchell Chesler
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 35)


Acid-base homeostasis is a well conserved physiologic phenomenon which enables tissues to maintain an environment conducive to vital cell processes. Accordingly, deterioration of pH homeostasis during disease states can be expected to reflect fundamental reactions of cells and tissues to pathologic stimuli. For example, volatile H+-buffers (i.e. HCO3 and NH3), while involved in pH regulation, are also important variables in volume (HCO3 ) regulation and neurotransmitter and energy (NH3) metabolism. Thus during pH perturbations changes in these volatile buffers may provide insights to the dynamic behavior of volume regulatory and metabolic activities of brain cells.

Measurements made during spreading depression (SD) in rat of intracellular or interstitial pH were compared to separate measurements of tissue carbon dioxide tension or [NH3] to allow calculations of [HCO3 ] or [NH4 +], respectively, in these compartments. [HCO3 ] or [NH4 +] changes were marked in glia. In contrast, only modest shifts of these ions were found in neurons. These results suggest that glia and neurons may have dissimilar volume regulatory and metabolic responses to SD.


Interstitial Space Spreading Depression Ischemic Brain Injury Neurochemical Pathology Volatile Buffer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard P. Kraig
    • 1
  • Mitchell Chesler
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell University Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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