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Strupp, Michael; Jund, R.; Schneider, Uwe and Grafe, Peter (1991): Glucose availability and sensitivity to anoxia of isolated rat peripheral nerve. In: American Journal of Physiology, Vol. 261, No. 1, E389-E394 [PDF, 1MB]

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The contrast between resistance to ischemia and ischemic lesions in peripheral nerves of diabetic patients was explored by in vitro experiments. Isolated and desheathed rat peroneal nerves were incubated in the following solutions with different glucose availability: 1) 25 mM glucose, 2) 2.5 mM glucose, and 3) 2.5 mM glucose plus 10 mM 2-deoxy-D-glucose. Additionally, the buffering power of all of these solutions was modified. Compound nerve action potential (CNAP), extracellular pH, and extracellular potassium activity (aKe) were measured simultaneously before, during, and after a period of 30 min of anoxia. An increase in glucose availability led to a slower decline in CNAP and to a smaller rise in aKe during anoxia. This resistance to anoxia was accompanied by an enhanced extracellular acidosis. Postanoxic recovery of CNAP was always complete in 25 mM HCO3(-)-buffered solutions. In 5 mM HCO3- and in HCO3(-)-free solutions, however, nerves incubated in 25 mM glucose did not recover functionally after anoxia, whereas nerves bathed in solutions 2 or 3 showed a complete restitution of CNAP. We conclude that high glucose availability and low PO2 in the combination with decreased buffering power and/or inhibition of HCO3(-)-dependent pH regulation mechanisms may damage peripheral mammalian nerves due to a pronounced intracellular acidosis.

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