Abstract In rat striatum, after one hyperbaric oxygen (HBO)-induced convulsion, polyamine changes are found that could promote N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) activation. In the HBO-sensitive CD1 mouse, unlike in the common C57 strain, there is some support for NMDA activation after the HBO seizure. We measured PA cortical content before and after the first HBO-induced convulsion (about 608 kPa O2) in CD1 and C57 strains. Putrescine, spermidine and spermine were dansyl derivated and analysed by HPLC. Exposure to HBO significantly increased putrescine content only in CD1 though a similar trend was observed in C57. No further increase was observed after convulsion whatever the strain. There were no significant changes in spermidine or spermine to support NMDA activation. Therefore, putrescine increase in CD1 cortex could reflect the free radical formation that is known to be greater in CD1 than in C57 mouse. Attempts to increase putrescine levels before HBO exposure hastened HBO-induced convulsion, less than spermidine or spermine. Because of physiological polyamine interconversion, additional experiments with indirect manipulation of putrescine levels and study of their time-course precise these preliminary reports on putrescine and HBO.