Nitric Oxide and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide as Dual Mediators of Neurogenic Relaxation in the Sheep Middle Cerebral Artery

  • John D. Matthew
  • Roger M. Wadsworth
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 26)


In the cerebral circulation, large arteries are thought to contribute significantly to total vascular resistance. The physiological regulation of these blood vessels has a neural component (1). The identification of the neurotransmitter mechanisms will allow a greater understanding of how the distribution of cerebral blood flow is controlled. Although it is over 60 years since cerebral arteries were shown receive a vasodilator innervation (reviewed in 8), the transmitter candidate(s) remains a source of controversy. In 1975, Lee et al (5) demonstrated in the cat that the response was non-adrenergic and non-cholinergic in nature. In recent years, evidence has accumulated from studies on cerebral arteries implicating nitric oxide (NO) as the mediator of neurogenic vasodilation (2,3).However, NO is highly diffusible through membranes and therefore could not be stored in vesicles or released in a directional manner like classical transmitters. One possibility is that following stimulation, another substance present in nerves may activate NO synthase to produce NO.


Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Cerebral Circulation Electrical Field Stimulation Classical Transmitter Neurogenic Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Faraci, F.M. and D.D. Heistad.Regulation of large cerebral arteries and cerebral microvascular pressure. Circ. Res. 66: 8–17, 1990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gaw, A.J., J. Aberdeen, P.P.A. Humphrey, R.M. Wadsworth and G. Burnstock. Relaxation of sheep cerebral arteries by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and neurogenic stimulation: inhibition by L-NG-monomethyl-arginine in endothelium denuded vessels. Br.J.Pharmacol. 102: 567–572, 1991.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gonzalez, C. and Estrada C. Nitric oxide mediates the neurogenic vasodilation of bovine 11: 366–370, 1991.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Iadecola, C., A.J. Beitz, W. Renno, X. Xiaohong, B. Mayer and F. Zhang. Nitric oxide synthase-containing neural processes on large cerebral arteries and cerebral microvessels. Brain Res. 606: 148–155, 1993.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lee, T.J-F., C. Su and J.A. Bevan. Nonsympathetic dilator innervation of cat cerebral arteries. Experientia 31: 1424–1426, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McCulloch, J. and L. Edvinsson.Cerebral circulatory and metabolic effects of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. Am.J.Physiol. 238(Heart Circ.Physiol. H449–456, 1980.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Owman, C. Peptidergic vasodilator nerves in the peripheral circulation and in the vascular beds of the heart and brain. Blood Vessels 27:73–93, 1990.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Purves, M.J. The Physiology of the Cerebral Circulation. London, Cambridge University Press pp44–68, 1972.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Suzuki N, J.E. Hardebo and C. Owman. Origins and pathways of cerebrovascular vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-positive nerve fibres in the rat. J.Cereb. Blood Flow Met. 8:697–712, 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Matthew
    • 1
  • Roger M. Wadsworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations