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Am J Physiol. 1993 Dec;265(6 Pt 2):R1410-5.

Role of NO in goat basal cerebral circulation and after vasodilatation to hypercapnia or brief ischemias.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisiologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the cerebral circulation under basal conditions and after vasodilatation to hypercapnia or reactive hyperemias was studied in 17 anesthetized goats. The intravenous administration of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 3-4 or 8-10 mg/kg), an inhibitor of nitric oxide production, reduced middle cerebral artery (MCA) flow (electromagnetically measured) by 19 and 30% and increased systemic arterial pressure by 21 and 26%, respectively, whereas heart rate did not significantly change; MCA resistance increased by 48 and 86%, respectively. These hemodynamic effects were reversed by L-arginine (200-300 mg/kg iv; 5 goats). Different levels of hypercapnia (PCO2 of 30-35, 40-45, and 55-65 mmHg) (12 goats) produced arterial PCO2-dependent increases in MCA flow that were similar under control and L-NAME treatment. Graded cerebral hyperemia occurred after 5, 10, and 20 s of MCA occlusion in 5 goats, but its magnitude was decreased during L-NAME treatment. It suggests that, in the cerebral circulation, nitric oxide 1) produces a basal vasodilator tone and 2) is probably not involved in the vasodilatation to hypercapnia but may mediate hyperemic responses after short brain ischemias.

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