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Light-Induced Alterations in Basil Ganglia Kynurenic Acid LevelsThe metabolic synthesis, release and breakdown of several known CNS neurotransmitters have been shown to follow a circadian pattern entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle. The levels of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmitters such as glutamate, have been shown to vary with environmental lighting conditions. Kynurenic Acid (KA), an endogenous tryptophan metabolite and glutamate receptor antagonist, has been reported to have neuroprotective effects against EAA-induced excitotoxic cell damage. Changes in KA's activity within the mammalian basal ganglia has been proposed as being contributory to neurotoxicity in Huntington's Disease. It is not known whether CNS KA levels follow a circadian pattern or exhibit light-induced fluctuations. However, because the symptoms of certain degenerative motor disorders seem to fluctuate with daily 24 hour rhythm, we initiated studies to determine if basal ganglia KA were influenced by the daily light/dark cycle and could influence motor function. Therefore in this study, HPLC-EC was utilized to determine if basal ganglia KA levels in tissue extracts from adult male Long-Evans rats (200-250g) entrained to 24 and 48 hours constant light and dark conditions, respectively. Samples were taken one hour before the onset of the subjective day and one hour prior to the onset of the subjective night in order to detect possible phase differences in KA levels and to allow for accumulation of factors expressed in association with the light or dark phase. Data analysis revealed that KA levels in the basal ganglia vary with environmental lighting conditions; being elevated generally during the dark. Circadian phase differences in KA levels were also evident during the subjective night and subjective day, respectively. Results from these studies are discussed with respect to potential cyclic changes in neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic damage during the daily 24 hour cycle and its possible relevance to future therapeutic approaches in treating neurodegenerative disorders.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sroufe, Angela E.
(Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, GA United States)
Whittaker, J. A.
(Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, GA United States)
Patrickson, J. W.
(Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, GA United States)
Orr, M. C.
(Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, GA United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: The First National Student Conference: NASA University Research Centers at Minority Institutions
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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