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Vasoreactivity Of The Intracranial Internal Carotid Artery

Jan Erik Hardebo

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The vasoreactivity of the intracranial segment of the internal carotid artery to transmitters, present in the perivascular sympathetic, parasympathetic and sensory nerves, as well as to other vasoactive agents of relevance for headache, was tested in man and monkey. The total arterial segment from both species is equipped with contractile receptors for noradrenaline, serotonin, prostaglandin F2a, ergotamine and sumatriptan. Further, the total arterial segment dilated upon exposure to calcitonin gene-related peptide in both species. Other vascoactive transmitters, acetylcholine, substance P and neurokinin A, caused only weak dilatation, restricted to the proximal extracavernous segment in the monkey. The findings are discussed in relation to the pathogenesis and treatment of cluster headache.