Increases in local cerebral blood flow associated with somatosensory activation are not mediated by NO

K. Adachi, S. Takahashi, P. Melzer, K. L. Campos, T. Nelson, C. Kennedy, L. Sokoloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthase by N(G)-nitro-L- arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) on the increases in local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) produced in the whisker-to-barrel sensory pathway by vibrissal stimulation were studied in conscious rats with the autoradiographic iodo[14C]antipyrine method. Unilateral whisker stroking increased LCBF in the ipsilateral trigeminal spinal and principal sensory nuclei, contralateral ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus, and contralateral somatosensory barrel cortex. Intravenous L-NAME (30 mg/kg) lowered baseline LCBF without altering the percent increases due to stimulation. Intracisternal infusions of L-NAME in doses about 10 times the molar content of free arginine in brain inhibited brain NO synthase activity by 88%, but the percent augmentations of LCBF by stimulation remained unchanged. Chronic treatment with L-NAME (50 mg/kg ip twice daily for 4 days) inhibited NO synthase activity in brain by 84% but also failed to reduce the percent increases in LCBF due to stimulation. These results indicate that NO does not mediate the increases in LCBF associated with functional activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2155-H2162
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 36-6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester
  • brain
  • functional activation
  • iodo[C]antipyrine
  • nitric oxide
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • whisker barrels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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