Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 127, Issue 3–4, pp 215–219 | Cite as

Influence of electrical stimulation of locus coeruleus on the rat blood-brain barrier permeability to sodium fluorescein

  • A. Sarmento
  • N. Borges
  • D. Lima
Experimental Research


The role of central adrenergic innervation of the brain capillaries is still a matter of discussion. The hypothesis that these nerves control the blood-brain barrier permeability was tested by electrically stimulating the locus coeruleus, the major central adrenergic nucleus, in the anaesthetized rat. Frequencies of 5, 15, and 30 Hz were used. A frequency dependent increase in blood-brain barrier permeability to sodium fluorescein was verified. Prior administration of the α-adrenoceptor antagonist phenoxybenzamine (10 mg/kg i.p., 24 h before electrical stimulation) totally blocked the effect of 15 Hz stimulation. The same dose of pindolol (a β-adrenoceptor antagonist) given 1 h before electrical stimulation potentiated the effect of 5 Hz stimulation. Thus, blood-brain barrier permeability is increased, in a frequency dependent manner, by electrical stimulation of the locus coeruleus. The results obtained with phenoxybenzamine and pindolol suggest an opposite effect of α and β-adrenoceptors on the control of sodium fluorescein transport through the blood-brain barrier.


Blood-brain barrier sodium fluorescein locus coeruleus central adrenergic mechanisms 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sarmento
    • 1
  • N. Borges
    • 1
  • D. Lima
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Histology and EmbryologyPortoPortugal

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