Spreading depolarization (SD) is generated in the central nervous systems of both vertebrates and invertebrates. SD manifests as a propagating wave of electrical depression caused by a massive redistribution of ions. Mammalian SD underlies a continuum of human pathologies from migraine to stroke damage, whereas insect SD is associated with environmental stress-induced neural shutdown. The general cellular mechanisms underlying SD seem to be evolutionarily conserved throughout the animal kingdom. In particular, SD in the central nervous system of Locusta migratoria and Drosophila melanogaster has all the hallmarks of mammalian SD. Locust SD is easily induced and monitored within the metathoracic ganglion (MTG) and can be modulated both pharmacologically and by preconditioning treatments. The finding that the fly brain supports repetitive waves of SD is relatively recent but noteworthy, since it provides a genetically tractable model system. Due to the human suffering caused by SD manifestations, elucidating control mechanisms that could ultimately attenuate brain susceptibility is essential. Here we review mechanisms of SD focusing on the similarities between mammalian and insect systems. Additionally we discuss advantages of using invertebrate model systems and propose insect SD as a valuable model for providing new insights to mammalian SD.
- extracellular potassium
- spreading depolarization continuum
- sodium ion-potassium ion-adenosinetriphosphatase
- protein kinase G
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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