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Neurosci Lett. 1994 Jun 20;174(2):127-9.

Alteration of substance P-mediated vasodilatation and sympathetic vasoconstriction in the rat knee joint by adjuvant-induced inflammation.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Glasgow, UK.


The effects of nerve stimulation and topical administration of substance P (SP) on the blood flow supplying the rat knee joint were measured using laser Doppler perfusion imaging. A comparison was made between the responses found in normal knees and those observed in a group of animals with unilateral chronic inflammation induced by intra-articular injection of Freund's adjuvant, 1 week prior to experimentation. In control knees, nerve stimulation produced a frequency-dependent vasoconstriction over the range of 5-30 Hz and application of SP caused a dose-dependent vasodilatation. Chronically inflamed joints showed virtually no response to either nerve stimulation or SP application, suggesting a radical alteration in sympathetic and neuropeptidergic actions.

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