Agmatine has been previously proposed to represent a novel neurotransmitter. One of the criteria required to test that hypothesis is that the exogenously administered chemical produces pharmacological effects similar to the physiological effects of the putative neurotransmitter. Since agmatine was first identified in brain, approximately sixty studies of the in vivo effects of exogenously administered agmatine have been reported. Despite the assertion that agmatine functions as a neuromodulator/neurotransmitter, the vast majority of experiments have administered agmatine through systemic (rather than central) routes of administration. Systemic delivery of agmatine for studies of centrally mediated phenomenona (e.g., pain, spinal cord injury, cardiovascular responses) relies on the presumption that agmatine (a polar compound) gains appreciable access to the CNS. The mechanism by which agmatine crosses the blood-brain barrier is not well understood. A number of studies have examined the in vivo effects of agmatine following central administration (e.g., intracerebroventricular and intrathecal). This paper summarizes and provides a comparison between the systemic versus central routes of administration for delivery of agmatine in experimental subjects.
- Central administration