Age specific effect of MK-801 on hypoxic body temperature regulation in rats

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Hypoxic exposure produces a consistent decrease of rectal temperature (Tb), which is recognized as a potent protective response. While some of the neural mechanisms underlying this response have recently been described, it remains poorly known how these mechanisms evolve during post-natal development. We recently reported that in rat pups NMDA glutamate receptor limits Tb drop upon hypoxic exposure, an effect that has not been reported by others in adult rats. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that the implication of NMDA receptors on temperature control during hypoxic exposure evolves during development. To this aim, we evaluated the hypoxic (30 min - 12% O2) responses of Tb, metabolic rate, and ventilation in rats after injection of vehicle, or the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, at different ages (post-natal days 4, 10, 20 and 2-3 month-old - P4, P10, P20 and P60). MK-801 amplified the magnitude of the hypoxic-induced Tb drop in P4, P10 and P20 rats, but this effect was not apparent in adults. In P20 rats MK-801 tripled the hypoxic induced Tb drop, which was 0.5 °C in control and 1.4 °C in treated rats (p < 0.0001). This effect was specific to temperature regulation, and was not accompanied by similar changes of other recorded parameters. MK-801 induced a significant decrease of the hypoxic ventilatory response in adults only. We conclude that NMDA glutamate receptor acts as a counter-regulatory factor that limits the hypoxic-induced drop of rectal temperature during post-natal development in rats. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Baig, M. S., & Joseph, V. (2008). Age specific effect of MK-801 on hypoxic body temperature regulation in rats. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 160(2), 181–186.

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