Comparison of nerves to cerebral and extracerebral blood vessels: a differential effect of alpha methyl tyrosine on norepinephrine content.
Alpha methyl tryosine (AMT), and inhibitor of norepinephrine (NOR) synthesis, was injected intraperitoneally (200 mg/kg) in Sprague Dawley rats, kept in a cold room, or at room temperature for 16 hours. Using formaldehyde induced NOR fluorescence, nerve counts were made on whole mounts of cerebral and femoral arterioles 14-300 micronm in diameter, utilizing a grid superimposed on the vessels. Cold had no effect on the number of visible (i.e. fluorescing) nerves. AMT had an appreciable effect but only on nerves to femoral arterioles, where a significant reduction in nerve count was observed in both cold stressed and non stressed rates, when compared with animals not given AMT. Since the counting technique is sensitive only to large depletions of NOR, we cannot conclude that AMT failed to affect NOR content in cerebrovascular nerves. However, if such an effect was present, it was much less than the effect of AMT on nerves to femoral vessels. We suggest that the differential effect of AMT on these 2 vascular beds may indicate a lower basal level of NOR release from cerebrovascular nerves, which would correlate with the difficulty of demonstrating basal sympathetic tone in this vascular bed.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association