Direct evidence for acute and massive norepinephrine release in the hippocampus during transient ischemia

M. Y.T. Globus, R. Busto, W. D. Dietrich, E. Martinez, I. Valdes, M. D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that norepinephrine (NE) may play a regulatory role in neuronal cell death in the hippocampus after transient ischemia. However, ischemia-induced changes in extracellular NE release have not been demonstrated. In the present study, we utilized the microdialysis technique to measure extracellular NE levels in the hippocampus before, during, and after 20 min of global ischemia induced by two-vessel occlusion combined with systemic hypotension in the rat. Stable basal concentrations of extracellular NE were detected in three consecutive samples collected prior to ischemia (1.86 ± 1.21 pmol/ml of perfusate mean ± SEM). During ischemia, NE levels increased to 30.1 ± 5.5 pmol/ml, representing an 18-fold increase. The levels gradually returned to baseline by 40 min of reperfusion. These results are the first to demonstrate that acute and massive extracellular release of NE occurs in the hippocampus during ischemia and early recirculation. These results support the hypothesis that the activation of the noradrenergic system may play a significant role in modulating the development of ischemic neuronal damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-896
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989


  • global cerebral ischemia
  • hippocampus
  • microdialysis
  • norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Neuroscience(all)


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