The effect of sympathetic denervation on cerebral CO2sensitivity

H. L. Stone, M. E. Raichle, M. Hernandez

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14 Scopus citations


The responsiveness of cerebral blood flow to changes in arterial carbon dioxide tension was determined in six monkeys following bilateral superior cervical ganglianectomy. Experiments were conducted 10 to 14 days following the removal of both ganglions using phencyclidine hydrochloride as the anesthetic agent. Following the initial acute experiments, the animals were placed in a sealed environmental chamber for five days at an inspired carbon dioxide level of 6%. The responsiveness to carbon dioxide was repeated following the chronic exposure to car¬bon dioxide. The animal was killed immediately and the brain removed. The major vessels of the circle of Willis were examined histochemicaily for the presence of sympathetic nerve fibers. The results of the study demonstrated that: (1) autoregulation was still present, (2) acute ex¬posure to increased levels of carbon dioxide increased flow, and (3) some adaptation of flow oc¬curred following a chronic exposure to 6% carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide sensitivity of this group of animals was found to be 0.37 cm per second mm Hg-1as compared to a value of 0.94 cm per second mm Hg-1for normal animals. The difference in these two values was significant. It is concluded that the sympathetic nervous system is necessary for the normal responsiveness to changes in arterial carbon dioxide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1974


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Autoregulation
  • Bicarbonate
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Chronic carbon dioxide
  • Hydrogen ion
  • Superior cervicol ganglion


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