Central Noradrenergic Innervation of Cerebral Microvessels: Implications for an Autonomic Nervous System within the Brain
There is now substantial evidence that neuronal circuits within the central nervous system directly influence various aspects of cerebral microvascular function. As research focuses on determining the exact anatomical site of this regulation (muscle layer, endothelial cells or even glial cells) and the precise mechanism of action (opening of tight junctions, pinocytosis, membrane permeability, etc.), it is important not to loose sight of the overall significance of this finding to general brain organization and function. That is, if central neurons are shown to functionally innervate non-neuronal elements then, by definition, this would constitute an autonomic nervous system within the brain.
KeywordsAutonomic Nervous System Locus Coeruleus Carotid Sinus Microvascular Function Autoregulatory Mechanism
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