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Neuronal activity is tightly coupled with brain energy metabolism; and glucose is an important energy substrate for neurons. The present in vivo microdialysis study was aimed at investigating changes in extracellular glucose concentrations in the rat ventral hippocampus due to exposure to the elevated plus maze. Determination of basal hippocampal glucose and lactate/pyruvate ratio in male Wistar rats was conducted in the home cage using in vivo microdialysis. Rats were exposed to the elevated plus maze, a rodent model of anxiety-related behaviour, or to unspecific stress induced by white noise (95dB) as a control condition. Basal hippocampal levels of glucose, as determined by zero-net-flux, and the basal lactate/pyruvate ratio were 1.49+/-0.05mmol/l and 13.8+/-1.1, respectively. In rats without manipulation, glucose levels remained constant throughout the experiment (120min). By contrast, exposure to the elevated plus maze led to a temporary decline in hippocampal glucose (-33.2+/-4.4%) which returned to baseline level in the home cage. White noise caused only a non-significant decrease in extracellular glucose level (-9.3+/-3.5%). In all groups, the lactate/pyruvate ratio remained unchanged by the experimental procedures. Our microdialysis study demonstrates that exposure to the elevated plus maze induces a transient decrease in extracellular hippocampal glucose concentration. In contrast, an unspecific stimulus did not change hippocampal glucose. The latter suggests that only specific behavioural stimuli increase hippocampal glucose utilization in the ventral hippocampus.