Relaxation to transmural nerve stimulation and exogenously added norepinephrine in porcine cerebral vessels. A study utilizing cerebrovascular intrinsic tone

R. J. Winquist, R. C. Webb, D. F. Bohr

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The large arteries at the base of the brain in the pig were studied in vitro for their responsiveness to neurogenic and humoral stimuli. Helical strips of these cerebral vessels tonically contracted consistently following application of resting force. The development and maintenance of this tone were not influenced by prior treatment of strips with tetrodotoxin (5 x 10-7 M), 6-hydroxydopamine (300 μg/ml) guanethidine (5 x 10-6 M), or antagonists of known vasoactive autacoids (i.e., phentolamine, propranolol, atropine). Once tone reached an equilibrated plateau, transmural nerve stimulation and exogenously applied norepinephrine evoked a relaxation. The relative potency of β-adrenergic agonists in producing a relaxation was isoproterenol > norepinephrine > epinephrine >> terbutaline. The response to norepinephrine, but not that to transmural nerve stimulation, was abolished by β-adrenoceptor antagonists. The neurogenic response, but not the relaxation to exogenous catecholamines, was blocked by tetrodotoxin and 6-hydroxydopamine and diminished by guanethidine. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and adenosine were also potent relaxant agents. These responses, but not the response to transmural nerve stimulation were blocked by α-chymotrypsin (1.5 U/ml) and aminophylline (3 x 10-5 M), respectively. These results suggest that porcine cerebral vessels develop myogenic tone which allows one to examine neural and/or humoral dilator responses without prior spasmogen addition. The vascular β-receptors appear to be of the β1-subtype which is consistent with that found in other species. The nature of the dilator neurotransmitter is unknown, but the functional integrity of the adrenergic nerve terminals appears important for the neurogenic relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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