Extracellular potassium, volume fraction, and tortuosity in rat hippocampal CA1, CA3, and cortical slices during ischemia

J Neurophysiol. 1995 Aug;74(2):565-73. doi: 10.1152/jn.1995.74.2.565.


1. An in vitro slice model of ischemia was used to study changes in extracellular potassium concentration and diffusion properties in the stratum pyramidale of CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus and in the cortex of the rat. Slices were submerged in artificial cerebrospinal fluid, and ischemia was induced by removing oxygen and glucose until anoxic depolarization occurred. 2. Extracellular potassium concentration was measured with a valinomycin-based ion-selective microelectrode. The bathing medium contained 5 mM potassium, and in vitro ischemia caused the potassium concentration to rise to 45 mM in CA1, 12 mM in CA3, and 32 mM in cortex. 3. Extracellular volume fraction and tortuosity were determined during normoxic conditions and in vitro ischemia by measuring the diffusion of tetramethylammonium. This cation was iontophoretically released into the extracellular space and its concentration as a function of time determined with an ion-selective microelectrode approximately 100 microns away from the source. 4. During normoxia the volume fraction was 0.14, 0.20, and 0.18, and tortuosity was 1.50, 1.57, and 1.62 in CA1, CA3, and cortex, respectively. These data confirm that the volume fraction of CA1 is smaller than in the two other regions. 5. During ischemia the volume fraction decreased to 0.05, 0.17, and 0.09 in CA1, CA3, and cortex, respectively. Only in CA3 did the tortuosity change significantly by increasing to 1.75. Because of limitations in the time resolution of the diffusion method, the changes in volume fraction and tortuosity during the anoxic depolarization phase of ischemia may have been underestimated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Diffusion
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iontophoresis
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Potassium