Auton Neurosci. 2013 Mar;174(1-2):31-5 doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2012.12.001. 2012 Dec 27.

Ablation of the sphenopalatine ganglion does not attenuate the infarct reducing effect of vagus nerve stimulation

Ay I, Ay H.


Electrical stimulation of the cervical vagus nerve reduces infarct size by approximately 50% after cerebral ischemia in rats. The mechanism of ischemic protection by vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is not known. In this study, we investigated whether the infarct reducing effect of VNS was mediated by activation of the parasympathetic vasodilator fibers that originate from the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) and innervate the anterior cerebral circulation. We examined the effects of electrical stimulation of the cervical vagus nerve in two groups of rats: one with and one without SPG ablation. Electrical stimulation was initiated 30 min after induction of ischemia, and lasted for 1h. Measurement of infarct size 24h later revealed that the volume of ischemic damage was smaller in those animals that received VNS treatment (41.32±2.07% vs. 24.19±2.62% of the contralateral hemispheric volume, n=6 in both; p0.05). In both SPG-intact and SPG-damaged animals VNS treatment resulted in better motor outcome (p

PMID: 23273773