Ontogeny of γ-hydroxybutyric acid. I. Regional concentration in developing rat, monkey and human brain

O. Carter Snead, Barbara J. Morley

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Steady state levels of γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) were measured in whole brain and discrete regions of brain in developing and adult rat, monkey, and human brain. Postmortem changes in concentration of GHB in rat and human brain were also assessed. There were no significant postmortem changes of GHB under the conditions which the ontogeny experiments were done. The concentration of GHB was uniformly higher in the immature brains of the 3 species studied. In the rat the highest concentration was in immature hypothalamus and cortex with a significant decrease occurring between postnatal day 12 and 14. In human, the highest concentration was in fetal cerebellum and adult hypothalamus. Comparison of these data with published ontogeny data for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) suggest that there may be a source of GHB in brain other than GABA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-589
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1981



  • development
  • epilepsy
  • gamma-hydroxybutyrate
  • ontogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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