Differential effects of short-term hypoxia and hypercapnia on N-methyl- D-aspartate-induced cerebral vasodilatation in piglets

Ferenc Bari, Robert A. Errico, Thomas M. Louis, David W. Busija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Recent studies in piglets show that either asphyxia or global cerebral ischemia, which combines effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia, transiently attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced pial arteriolar dilation. The purpose of this study was to determine individually the effects of hypoxic hypoxia and normoxic hypercapnia on NMDA-dependent cerebrovascular reactivity. In addition, we examined mechanisms involved in reduced cerebral vascular dilation to NMDA. Methods: In anesthetized piglets, we examined pial arteriolar diameters using a cranial window and intravital microscopy. Arteriolar responses to topically applied NMDA were determined under control conditions and alter arterial hypoxia or arterial hypercapnia. In addition, arteriolar responses to NMDA were examined in animals given indomethacin (10 mg/kg IV) or superoxide dismutase (100 U/mL, topical application before hypoxia. Results: Under control conditions, application of NMDA produced a dose-related dilation of pial arterioles (eg, 9±1% to 10- 5, 15±2% to 5x10-5, and 28±5% to 10-4 mol/L NMDA above baseline, respectively, in the hypoxic group; n=6, P<.05). After transient exposure to 15 minutes of hypoxic hypoxia, arteriolar responses to NMDA were reduced at 30 minutes and at 60 minutes (10-4 mol/L NMDA dilated by 12±5% and 18±5%, respectively; n=6, P<.05). Five minutes of hypoxic hypoxia also reduced dilatation to NMDA. Indomethacin or superoxide dismutase preserved arteriolar responses to NMDA after 15 minutes of hypoxia. Pial arteriolar responses to NMDA remained unimpaired during and after hypercapnia. Conclusions: Short- term severe hypoxic hypoxia and reventilation impair the NMDA-induced dilatation of pial arterioles. Respiratory acidosis alone does not modify pial arteriolar reactivity to NMDA. The reduced responsiveness of the cerebral blood vessels to NMDA caused by hypoxia appears to be due to action of oxygen radicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1634-1640
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996



  • acidosis
  • cerebral blood flow
  • indomethacin
  • oxygen radical
  • pigs
  • superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

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