The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the activation-flow coupling (AFC) response to periodic electrical forepaw stimulation was investigated using signal averaged laser Doppler (LD) flowmetry. LD measures of calculated cerebral blood flow (CBF) were obtained both prior and after intra-peritoneal administration of the non-selective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, NG-nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA) (40 mg/kg). Characteristic baseline low frequency vasomotion oscillations (0.17 Hz) were observed after l-NNA administration. These LDCBF oscillations were synchronous within but not between hemispheres. l-NNA reduced the magnitude of the AFC response (p < 0.05) for longer stimuli (1 min) with longer inter-stimulus intervals (2 min). In contrast, the magnitude of the AFC response for short duration stimuli (4 s) with short inter-stimulus intervals (20 s) was augmented (p < 0.05) after l-NNA. An interaction occurred between l-NNA induced vasomotion oscillations and the AFC response with the greatest increase occurring at the stimulus harmonic closest to the oscillatory frequency. Nitric oxide may therefore modulate the effects of other vasodilators involved in vasomotion oscillations and the AFC response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 14 2010


  • Laser Doppler flowmetry
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oscillation
  • and Cerebral blood flow


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