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A strong linkage between adrenergic and glutamatergic systems exists in the CNS but it is still unclear whether the excessive release of noradrenaline under ischemic conditions is modulated by excitatory amino acids. We studied the effect of selective glutamate receptor antagonists on the release of [3H]noradrenaline evoked by glucose and oxygen deprivation in hippocampal CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus subregions. The release of glutamate, aspartate and GABA was measured by HPLC. Omission of oxygen and glucose increased the release of [3H]noradrenaline as well as the release of amino acids. Maximum effect on noradrenaline release was observed in CA1 region. The relative increase of the release after 30 min energy deprivation (R2) versus the basal release under normal conditions (R1), i.e. the R2/R1 ratio was 7.1±1.0, 3.87±0.4 and 3.26±0.27 for CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus, respectively. The [3H]noradrenaline outflow in response to glucose and oxygen deprivation was abolished at low temperature, but not by Ca2+ removal, suggesting a cytoplasmic release process. In CA1 and CA3 [3H]noradrenaline release was significantly attenuated by MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist. The AMPA receptor antagonist GYKI-53784 had no effect in CA3, but partly reduced noradrenaline release in CA1.Our results suggest that ionotropic glutamate receptors seem to be implicated in the massive cytoplasmic release of noradrenaline in CA1 what may contribute to its selective vulnerability.