Nicotine increases microvascular blood flow and flow velocity in three groups of brain areas

F. J. Hans, L. Wei, D. Bereczki, V. Acuff, J. Demaro, J. L. Chen, T. Otsuka, C. Patlak, J. Fenstermacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the mechanism of local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) elevation, nicotine (1.75 mg/kg sc) was administered to rats, and LCBF plus the distribution spaces of radiolabeled albumin (RISA) and red blood cells (RBC) in parenchymal microvessels were measured throughout the brain. Microvascular blood spaces and transit times were calculated from the data. From 1.5 to 3 min after nicotine administration, LCBF was raised by 40-150% in 16 of the brain areas and unaltered in the remaining 28 areas. The affected structures included parts of the visual-auditory, sensorimotor-cortical, and interpeduncular systems. RBC spaces were not changed by nicotine treatment. RISA and blood spaces were increased slightly but not significantly in some of the LCBF-affected areas but nowhere else. Nicotine seemingly elevates LCBF in the affected areas mainly by increasing linear velocity of flow through the microvascular beds. In agreement with this, mean transit time, which is inversely related to velocity, was decreased from 0.3-0.5 to ~0.2 s in the microvascular systems of the nicotine-affected areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2142-H2150
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 34-6
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • capillary recruitment hypothesis
  • cerebral blood flow
  • cerebral blood volume
  • cerebral capillaries
  • microvessel transit times
  • plasma flow
  • red cell flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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