Contributions from the upper cervical dorsal roots and trigeminal ganglia to the feline circle of Willis.
To further define the sensory projections to the circle of Willis, we measured concentrations of immunoreactive substance P in pial arteries of cats following either bilateral removal of the C1-3 dorsal root ganglia (six cats) or bilateral removal of the trigeminal ganglia (three cats). Removal of the dorsal root ganglia decreased concentrations of the tachykinin substance P in the vertebral artery and the basilar artery and its branches by 72% and 50-66%, respectively. Bilateral removal of the trigeminal ganglia decreased substance P concentrations in all forebrain vessels including the rostral basilar artery, although only concentrations in the anterior cerebral artery were significantly lower than those in unilaterally lesioned cats (p less than 0.01). Hence, the vertebrobasilar artery and its tributaries are invested by substance P-containing fibers originating from the upper cervical dorsal root ganglia, and the anterior cerebral artery is innervated by both trigeminal ganglia. If a similar anatomy exists in humans, our data provide an explanation for the occipital localization of headaches arising from the vertebrobasilar arteries and for bilateral headaches following stimulation of the anterior cerebral artery.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association