The present experimental study was undertaken to investigate the effects of locus coeruleus stimulation on the dynamic changes of intraparenchymal vessels and pial vessels. Twelve cats were anaesthetized with alpha-chloralose and urethane. For stimulation of the locus coeruleus, a concentric stainless-steel needle electrode was inserted stereotaxically. During the stimulation, volumetric changes of the intraparenchymal vessels were monitored by a photoelectric method for estimating the cerebral blood volume (CBV) (6 cats), and the diameters of pial arteries were measured continuously using a video camera system (6 cats). The CBV followed a decreasing course during the stimulation of the locus coeruleus. The decrease in CBV from the control value (6.3 vol%) was 0.14 ± 0.04 vol% at 80 s (p < 0.05), 0.15 ± 0.05 vol% at 100 s (p < 0.05), and 0.15 ± 0.03 vol% at 120 s (p < 0.01). After cessation of the stimulation, CBV showed a gradual recovery. On the other hand, the diameters of the pial arteries did not change during or after the stimulation of the locus coeruleus. The above results suggest that the locus coeruleus has a vasoconstrictive effect on the intraparenchymal vessels, although it exerts no apparent influence on the pial arteries.
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