, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 136–140 | Cite as

Nitric oxide-dependent blood-brain barrier permeability alteration in the rat brain

  • A. Shukla
  • M. Dikshit
  • R. C. Srimal
Research Articles


The role of nitric oxide (NO), a well known vasodilator, in the regulation of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability is not clear. Therefore, the present study was planned to assess the role of NO-releasing compounds like sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and the active metabolite of molsidomine, SIN-1, as well as a precursor of NO, L-arginine, on this physiological barrier. The permeability was assessed by using several tracers. All three agents increased the permeability of BBB to the tracer. The increase in permeability caused by L-arginine was not blocked by N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). L-Arginine-treated brains did not show an elevation of nitrite content, thus ruling out the possibility of NO generation and its involvement in BBB permeability alteration. It is concluded that NO itself causes an increase in the permeability of BBB. However arginine-induced opening is not NO mediated.

Key words

Blood-brain barrier nitric oxide arginine sodium fluorescein N-nitro L-arginine methyl ester 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Shukla
    • 1
  • M. Dikshit
    • 1
  • R. C. Srimal
    • 2
  1. 1.Pharmacology DivisionCentral Drug Research InstituteLucknow(India)
  2. 2.Industrial Toxicology Research CentreLucknow(India)

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