Role of nitric oxide in histamine-induced increases in permeability of the blood-brain barrier

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49 Scopus citations

Abstract

While previous studies have examined the effects of histamine on the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and reactivity of cerebral blood vessels, cellular mechanisms which account for histamine-induced affects on the cerebral microcirculation are not clear. The goals of this study were to determine the role of nitric oxide in histamine-induced increases in permeability of the blood-brain barrier and dilatation of pial arterioles. We examined the pial microcirculation in rats using intravital fluorescence microscopy. Permeability of the blood-brain barrier (clearance of fluorescent-labeled dextran; molecular weight 10,000 daltons; FITC-dextran-10 K) and diameter of pial arterioles were measured in the absence and presence of histamine (10 and 100 μM). During superfusion with vehicle (saline), clearance of FITC-dextran-10 K from pial vessels was minimal and diameter of pial arterioles remained constant. Topical application of histamine (10 and 100 μM) produced an increase in clearance of FITC-dextran-10 K and diameter of pial arterioles. To determine a potential role for nitric oxide in histamine-induced increases in permeability of the blood-brain barrier and dilatation of pial arterioles, we examined the effects of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA; 10 μM). L-NMMA inhibited histamine-induced increases in permeability of the blood-brain barrier and attenuated histamine-induced dilatation of cerebral arterioles. The findings of the present study suggest that histamine increases permeability of the blood-brain barrier and diameter of pial arterioles via the synthesis/release of nitric oxide or a nitric oxide containing compound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Volume743
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • FITC-dextran
  • L-NMMA
  • brain
  • cerebral venule
  • nitric oxide
  • pial arteriole
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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