The biochemical changes of the elements of cholinergic neurotransmission (choline acetyltransferase, ChAT; acetylcholinesterase, AChE; butyrylcholinesterase, BuChE; and muscarinic cholinergic receptors, mAChR) as well as the electrolyte content were studied in ischemic lumbar spinal cord segments of newborn pigs. Ischemia was elicited by ligating the aorta for 30 min. Although no significant changes were observed in the sodium, potassium and calcium content of ischemic spinal cords, the calcium content was slightly elevated, to 119.3% of the control value. Whereas significant depletions were observed in both AChE and ChAT activities (to 69.1 and 87.7% of the control value, respectively), there was no significant change in BuChE activity as compared to the control value. The mAChR were also decreased, from 33.25 ± 2.2 to 27.18 ± 1.9 fmol/mg protein, while the Kd value was not significantly altered. It is concluded that even a relatively brief interruption of the oxygen supply can cause severe damage in the lumbar spinal cord of the newborn pig, affecting the cholinergic neurotransmission elements. This animal model might be suitable for studying the effects of hypoxia in newborns and children during chest operations involving the descending aorta.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)