Vitamin C Acutely Affects Brain Perfusion and Mastication-Induced Perfusion Asymmetry in the Principal Trigeminal Nucleus

Andrea Viggiano, Sara Ponticorvo, Antonietta Canna, Carmine Secondulfo, Ludovico Sbordone, Antonio Russo, Marcellino Monda, Francesco Di Salle, Fabrizio Esposito

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2 Scopus citations


Prolonged mastication may induce an asymmetric modification of the local perfusion of the trigeminal principal nucleus. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible influence of vitamin C (vit. C) on such effect. Four groups of healthy volunteers underwent arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-MRI) to evaluate the local perfusion of the trigeminal nuclei after a vit. C-enriched lunch or a control lunch. Two ASL-MRI scans were acquired, respectively, before and after a 1 h-long masticating exercise or a 1 h long resting period. The results showed (i) an increased global perfusion of the brain in the vit. C-enriched lunch groups, (ii) an increased local perfusion of the right principal trigeminal nucleus (Vp) due to mastication, and (iii) a reduction of the rightward asymmetry of the Vp perfusion, due to mastication, after the vit C-enriched meal compared to the control meal. These results confirmed a long-lasting effect of prolonged mastication on Vp perfusion and also suggest a possible effect of vit. C on cerebral vascular tone regulation. Moreover, the data strongly draw attention on the side-to-side relation in Vp perfusion as a possible physiological parameter to be considered to understand the origin of pathological conditions like migraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number641121
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
StatePublished - Feb 26 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by University of Salerno (FARB-2017, Grant No. ORSA177578).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Viggiano, Ponticorvo, Canna, Secondulfo, Sbordone, Russo, Monda, Di Salle and Esposito.


  • arterial spin labeling
  • local brain perfusion
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mastication
  • trigeminal nuclei
  • vitamin C (ascorbic acid)


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