Vasopressin contributes to dynorphin modulation of hypoxic cerebrovasodilation

Andrew Venteicher, William M. Armstead

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Because pial artery dilation during a 20- or 40-min hypoxic exposure was less than that observed during a 5- or 10-min exposure, stimulus duration determines the vascular response to hypoxia. Dynorphin (Dyn) modulates hypoxic pial dilation and contributes to decremented dilation during longer hypoxic exposures. This study was designed to determine whether vasopressin (VP) contributes to Dyn modulation of hypoxic pial dilation in newborn pigs equipped with a closed cranial window. Moderate (M) and severe (S) hypoxia (arterial Po2 ~ 35 and 25 mmHg, respectively) had no effect on cerebrospinal fluid VP during a 5-min exposure but increased its concentration during longer exposure periods. The VP antagonist [β-mercapto- β,β-cyclopentamethylenepropionyl1,O-Me-Tyr2,Arg8]vasopressin (MEAVP) had no influence on pial dilation during the 5-min exposure but potentiated the 20- and 40-min M and S hypoxic exposure dilations: 21 ± 2 vs. 29 ± 3% and 23 ± 2 vs. 33 ± 2% for 20-and 40-min S hypoxic dilation before and after MEAVP. Topical VP during 5 min of hypoxia elicited dilation that was reversed to vasoconstriction during 20 min of S and 40 min of M and S hypoxia. Similarly, during 5 min of hypoxia, Dyn elicited dilation that was reversed to vasoconstriction during longer hypoxic periods. MEAVP blunted this Dyn- induced vasoconstriction. These data show that VP modulates hypoxic pial dilation in a stimulus duration-dependent manner and that VP contributes to the reversal of Dyn from a dilator to a constrictor during prolonged hypoxia. Finally, these data suggest that VP contributes to Dyn modulation of hypoxic cerebrovasodilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2072-H2079
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 44-6
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral circulation
  • Newborn
  • Opioids


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