Although useful for determining neuronal damage in cell cultures, the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay is not suitable for acute brain preparations because LDH release is typically delayed relative to neuronal deterioration. The slow release suggests that LDH may remain trapped inside damaged cells until late in the degenerative process. To test this, we examined whether brief sonication facilitates LDH release from acutely damaged neurons. In rat isolated retinas and hippocampal slices, LDH release was minimal following acute administration of iodoacetate or kainate. However, these toxins promoted significant LDH release, when toxin exposure was followed by brief sonication. Increases in extracellular LDH correlated with changes in neuronal morphology. These findings suggest that sonication may facilitate the use of the LDH assay in acute brain preparations.
- Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
- Neuronal degeneration