Animal Models of Brain Hypoxia

  • Gary E. Gibson
  • Hsueh-Meei Huang
Part of the Neuromethods book series (NM, volume 22)


Hypoxia (i.e., reduced oxygen availability) is a classical model of the metabolic encephalopathies or delirium. An understanding of how hypoxia alters brain function has implications for understanding other metabolic encephalopathies as well as aging and age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Utilizing a variety of models of hypoxia is necessary to determine the effects of hypoxia on brain function and to test hypotheses about the underlying mechanisms of its actions. Both in vivo and in vitro models of hypoxia are produced by either limiting the oxygen availability or impairing the tissues′ ability to utilize oxygen. The results demonstrate that the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters are particularly sensitive to hypoxia. The release of acetylcholine is diminished, whereas the release of dopamine and glutamate is accelerated. We postulate that diminished acetylcholine release impairs mental function, whereas the excessive release of dopamine and glutamate damages cells postsynaptically. Fundamental alterations in calcium homeostasis, particularly the ability of mitochondria to buffer calcium, appear to underlie these deficits. Furthermore, these changes in calcium appear to affect other second messenger systems, including an acceleration of the phosphatidylinositol cascade


Brain Slice Thiamine Deficiency Potassium Cyanide Maple Syrup Urine Disease Adenylate Energy Charge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary E. Gibson
    • 1
  • Hsueh-Meei Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell University Medical CollegeWhite Plains

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