Journal of applied physiology: respiratory, environmental and exercise physiology. vol:44 issue:3 pages:333-9
Glutamic, aspartic, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamine, and ammonium were measured in the brains of unanesthetized normocapnic and hypercapnic (10% CO2; 5 min to 3 wk) rats. Hypercapnia increased glutamine and GABA and decreased glutamic and aspartic acids. Changes occurred within 1 h and were maintained during the observation period of 3 wk. On return to normocapnia amino acid concentrations were almost normal after 1 h. Based on the time course it is concluded that intracerebral hypercapnia is more likely the stimulus for change than acidosis. Ammonium content was unchanged for at least 1 h after the onset of hypercapnia but increased thereafter. Experiments in which glutamine synthesis by brain was impeded by inhibiting the enzyme glutamine synthetase favor the hypothesis that the rise of ammonium content in hypercapnia is initially not seen because of increased glutamine synthesis. The changes observed may have a role in metabolic pH homeostasis of brain tissue and may also be relevant to the modified brain excitability in hypercapnia.