Post effect of repetitive exposures to pressure nitrogen-induced narcosis on the dopaminergic activity at atmospheric pressure.

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Post effect of repetitive exposures to pressure nitrogen-induced narcosis on the dopaminergic activity at atmospheric pressure.

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Title: Post effect of repetitive exposures to pressure nitrogen-induced narcosis on the dopaminergic activity at atmospheric pressure.
Author: Lavoute, C; Weiss, M; Sainty, JM; Risso, JJ; Rostain, JC
Abstract: Nitrogen at pressure produces a neurological syndrome called nitrogen narcosis. Neurochemical experiments indicated that a single exposure to 3 MPa of nitrogen reduced the concentration of dopamine by 20% in the striatum, a structure involved in the control of extrapyramidal motor activity. This effect of nitrogen was explained by enhanced GABAergic neurotransmission through GABAA receptors and, to a lesser extent, by a decreased glutamatergic input to DA cells through NMDA receptors. The aim of this study was to study, under normobaric conditions, possible alterations of NMDA receptor activity in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) induced by repetitive exposures to nitrogen pressure. Under general anesthesia, male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted in the striatum with multifiber carbon dopamine-sensitive electrodes and in the SNc with guide cannulae for drug injections. After recovery from surgery, the striatal dopamine level was recorded by voltammetry in freely-moving rats, in normobaric conditions, before and after 5 repetitive exposures to 1MPa of nitrogen (threshold of nitrogen narcosis occurrence in rat). The effect of NMDA receptor activity on DA concentration was investigated using agonist (NMDA) and specific antagonist (AP7) SNc administration. Following repetitive nitrogen exposures, the ability of NMDA to elevate DA concentrations was enhanced. In contrast, after nitrogen exposure AP7 produced a paradoxical increase in DA concentration compared to its inhibitory effect before any exposure. Similar responses were obtained after a single exposure to 3MPa nitrogen. Thus, repetitive exposures to nitrogen narcosis produced a sensitization of postsynaptic NMDA receptors on DA cells, related to a decreased glutamatergic input in SNc. Consequently, successive nitrogen narcosis exposures disrupted ion-channel receptor activity revealing a persistent nitrogen-induced neurochemical change underlying the pathologic process.
Description: Xth Meeting International High Pressure Biology Group, Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8045
Date: 2008

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