Opposite effects of L-arginine and nitroglycerin on cerebral blood velocity: Nitric oxide precursors and cerebral blood velocity

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Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous molecule synthesized in the arteriolar endothelium from the amino acid L-arginine (L-arg), has been identified as the previously described Endothelium-Derived Relaxing Factor (EDRF); nitroderivatives such as nitroglycerin are known to induce vasodilation via NO release. The aim of this study was to evaluate by Transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring any changes in cerebral hemodynamics induced by both the infusion of L-arg and the sublingual administration of nitroglycerin in 20 healthy subjects. L-arg infusion induced a significant increase in blood velocity compared to the baseline value (mean ± S.D. percent change = 18 ± 8.71; p <0.0001) and a slight but significant decrease in Pulsatility Index. By contrast, nitroglycerin was able to cause a significant decrease in blood velocity (mean ± S.D. percent change = 24.8 ± 7.68; p <0.0001), while leaving Pulsatility Index unchanged. These data suggest that L-arg and nitroglycerin, both hypothesized to use NO as the final product at the vascular level, result in opposite blood velocity patterns within the cerebral circulation, This may be due to the particular type of artery and/or to the local endothelial environment whereby the released NO may act.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume150
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1997

Keywords

  • Cerebral blood velocity
  • L-arginine
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Transcranial Dopplersonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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