Trigeminal nerve and brainstem catecholamine systems in cerebral vasospasm
Cisternal blood injection in the rat and squirrel monkey produces a biphasic cerebral vasospasm, a decrease in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and an increase in glucose uptake (CMRglu) due to an anaerobic glucolysis actually representing a decrease in metabolism. Lesioning of the Aa-nucleus, its ascending cathecolamine pathways or their projection site, the median eminence in the hypothalamus, prevents the occurrence of spasm. A unilateral postganglionic trigeminal lesion causes an ipsilateral constriction of the cerebral arteries while a preganglionic lesion does not affect the baseline arterial diameter. Both kinds of trigeminal lesions induce a global increase in glucose uptake of about 50% without influencing CBF. Following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) the decrease in CBF in both groups of lesioned animals is similar to that seen in controls. After SAH there is no further change in CMRglu in the animals with a preganglionic lesion, while in the postganglionically lesioned animals there is an additional increase in CMRglu of about 50% as compared to controls or animals with a preganglionic lesion. Treatment with the peptidergic substance P (SP) antagonist, spantide, or gammaglobulin against SP prevents or significantly reduces the degree of spasm and the changes in flow and metabolism normally seen post-SAM. The non-peptidergic neurokinins NK1 and NK3 antagonists do not influence flow and metabolism in SAH animals. The NK2 seems to change both flow and metabolism post-SAM in rats.