Buffering capacity of most tissues is composed of both rapid and slow phases, the latter presumably due to active acid extrusion. To examine the time course of brain buffering the brain pH of Sprague-Dawley rats was measured using 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance. The effect on brain pH of 30- or 58-min exposures to 20% CO2 followed by 30- or 38-min recovery periods, respectively, was studied. Brain pH reached its lowest value after a 15-min exposure to elevated CO2, thereafter slowly and steadily increasing. During recovery brain pH rose rapidly in the first 5 min exceeding control brain pH by 0.08 pH units. Brain pH fell during the next 30 min despite increases in blood pH and decreases in blood CO2 tension. Calculated intrinsic brain buffering rose steadily threefold during the last 40 min of CO2 exposure and during the final 30 min of recovery. These data show that in rat brain there is a temporally late buffering process, most likely active acid extrusion, requiring greater than 30 min for full activation and at least 30 min for discontinuation.
- Copyright © 1988 the American Physiological Society