Introduction: Xylazine, a type of α2-adrenoceptors, is a commonly used drug in veterinary medicine. Xylazine-induced changes in the content of amino acid neurotransmitters – glycine (Gly) and aspartic acid (Asp), in different brain regions and neurons were studied.
Material and Methods: Wistar rats were administered 50 mg/kg or 70 mg/kg of xylazine by intraperitoneal injection. In addition, in vitro experiments were conducted, in which neurons were treated with 15 μg/mL, 25 μg/mL, 35 μg/mL, and 45 μg/mL of xylazine. Test methods were based on the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).
Results: During anaesthesia, Asp levels in each brain area were significantly lower compared to the control group. Except for the cerebrum, levels of Gly in other brain areas were significantly increased during the anaesthesia period. In vitro, xylazine-related neuron secretion of Gly increased significantly compared to the control group at 60 min and 90 min. Moreover, xylazine caused a significant decrease in the levels of Asp secreted by neurons at 20 min, but gradually returned to the level of the control group.
Conclusion: The data showed that during anaesthesia the overall levels of Asp decreased and overall levels of Gly increased. In addition, the inhibitory effect of xylazine on Asp and the promotion of Gly were dose-dependent. Our data showed that different effects of xylazine on excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters provided a theoretical basis for the mechanism of xylazine activity in clinical anaesthesia.
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