Mechanisms of Cerebral Vasodilatation During Neuronal Activation by Bicuculline: A Review


Bicuculline-induced seizure is an established experimental model of increased neuronal activity. Bicuculline is a plant alkaloid that blocks the inhibitory action of γ- aminobutyric acid (GABA) at postsynaptic sites (Curtis and Johnston 1974). In cerebral arteries the GABA receptor antagonist does not exert vasomotor effects in a concentration range of 10−11 to 10−4 M as shown by perivascular microapplication (Kuschinsky and Wahl 1979). However, after bicuculline-induced neuronal activation a tremendous increase in cerebral blood flow (CBF), up to six to seven fold, has been found (Meldrum and Nilsson 1976; Chapman et al. 1977; Mueller et al. 1979). The increase in CBF is due to an increase in the perfusion pressure and to a fall in vascular resistance. Several mechanisms which appear to be involved in the mediation of the decrease in cerebrovascular resistance during neuronal activation will be discussed in the following article. In particular, the role of local-chemical factors, prostanoids, and free radicals as well as of trigeminovascular nerves will be reviewed briefly.


Cerebral Blood Flow Cereb Blood Flow Pial Artery Cerebrovascular Resistance Cerebral Blood Flow Increase 
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© Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • M. Wahl

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