Glucose modulation of spreading depression susceptibility

Ulrike Hoffmann, Inna Sukhotinsky, Katharina Eikermann-Haerter, Cenk Ayata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Spreading depression of Leão is an intense spreading depolarization (SD) wave associated with massive transmembrane ionic, water, and neurotransmitter shifts. Spreading depolarization underlies migraine aura, and occurs in brain injury, making it a potential therapeutic target. While susceptibility to SD can be modulated pharmacologically, much less is known about modulation by systemic physiological factors, such as the glycemic state. In this study, we systematically examined modulation of SD susceptibility by blood glucose in anesthetized rats under full physiological monitoring. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia were induced by insulin or dextrose infusion (blood glucose ∼40 and 400 mg/dL, respectively). Spreading depolarizations were evoked by direct cortical electrical stimulation to determine the intensity threshold, or by continuous topical KCl application to determine SD frequency. Hyperglycemia elevated the electrical SD threshold and reduced the frequency of KCl-induced SDs, without significantly affecting other SD properties. In contrast, hypoglycemia significantly prolonged individual and cumulative SD durations, but did not alter the electrical SD threshold, or SD frequency, amplitude or propagation speed. These data show that increased cerebral glucose availability makes the tissue resistant to SD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • animal models
  • electrophysiology
  • glucose
  • migraine
  • spreading depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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