Study Title:

Chronic noise stress-induced alterations of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid and their metabolism in the rat brain

Study Abstract

Chronic stress induces neurochemical changes that include neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain. Noise is an environmental factor inducing stress. Chronic noise stress affects monoamine neurotransmitter systems in the central nervous system. The effect on other excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter systems is not known. The aim was to study the role of chronic noise stress on the glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic systems of the brain. Female Wistar rats (155 ± 5 g) were unintentionally exposed to noise due to construction (75-95 db, 3-4 hours/day, 5 days a week for 7-8 weeks) in the vicinity of the animal care facility. Glutamate/GABA levels and their metabolic enzymes were evaluated in different rat brain regions (cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and cerebellum) and compared with age and gender matched nonexposed rats. Chronic noise stress decreased glutamate levels and glutaminase activity 27% and 33% in the cortex, 15% and 24% in the cerebellum. Glutamate levels increased 10% in the hippocampus, 28% in striatum and glutaminase activity 15% in striatum. Glutamine synthetase activity increased significantly in all brain regions studied, that is, cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and cerebellum (P < 0.05). Noise stress-increased GABA levels and glutamate alpha decarboxylase activity 20% and 45% in the cortex, 13% and 28% in the hippocampus respectively. GABA levels and glutamate alpha decarboxylase activity decreased 15% and 14%, respectively in the striatum. GABA transaminase activity was significantly reduced in the cortex (55%), hippocampus (17%), and cerebellum (33%). Chronic noise stress differentially affected glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmitter systems in the rat brain, which may alter glutamate and GABA neurotransmission.

Keywords: Brain, glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, noise stress

Study Information

Noise Health 2014;16:343-9

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