Regional differences in resting extracellular potassium levels of rat brain

Bita Moghaddam, Ralph N. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The extracellular potassium concentration in the cerebral cortex of the mammalian brain has been repeatedly reported to be approximately 3.0 mM. We have made detailed measurements with potassium-selective microelectrodes and have found significantly lower extracellular potassium concentrations in unstimulated rat brain caudate and thalamus (1.9-2.5 mM) when compared to cortex and cerebral spinal fluid (3.0-3.5 mM). These regional differences may be caused by variations in spontaneous activity of neurons, regional permeability differences in endothelial cells of brain capillaries to potassium, or caused by variations in uptake by glia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-340
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 17 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain ionic homeostasis
  • Ion-selective microelectrode
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional differences in resting extracellular potassium levels of rat brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this