Cerebral blood flow responses to somatosensory stimulation are unaffected by scopolamine in unanesthetized rat

Yasuaki Nakao, Jun Gotoh, Tang Yong Kuang, David M. Cohen, Karen D. Pettigrew, Louis Sokoloff

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9 Scopus citations


Studies with positron-emission tomography have indicated that muscarinic acetylcholine receptors may be involved in the mechanism of enhancement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) by neuronal functional activation. We examined the effects of muscarinic receptor blockade by scopolamine on the local CBF responses to vibrissal stimulation in the whisker-to-barrel cortex sensory pathway in unanesthetized rats. Local CBF was measured by the quantitative autoradiographic [14C]iodoantipyrine method. Scopolamine (0.4 or 0.8 mg/kg) was injected i.v. 30 min before measurement of local CBF; control rats received equivalent volumes of physiological saline. Vibrissae on the left side of the face were stroked continuously throughout the 1-min period of measurement of CBF. Local CBF was determined bilaterally in four structures of the pathway, i:e:, spinal and principal sensory trigeminal nuclei, ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus, and barrel field of the sensory cortex, as well as in four representative structures unrelated to the pathway. The higher dose of scopolamine raised baseline CBF in the two trigeminal nuclei, but neither dose diminished the percentage of increases in local CBF because of vibrissal stimulation in any of the stations of the pathway. These results do not support involvement of muscarinic receptors in the mechanism of enhancement of local CBF by functional neuronal activation, at least not in the whisker-barrel cortex sensory pathway in the unanesthetized rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-934
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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