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An investigation of an autonomic innervation of the vertebral artery using monoamine histofluorescence

Mitchell, Jeanette


Jeanette Mitchell


Blood flow to the hindbrain, via the paired vertebral arteries, must be uncompromised for adequate neurological functioning of its vital centres. Therefore, it would seem unlikely that the intracranial vertebral artery would need to vasoconstrict, thus reducing its blood flow. In order to investigate the existence and location of a noradrenaline-mediated constrictor mechanism in the wall of the intracranial vertebral artery, transverse sections of ten baboon and ten monkey vessels were stained with sucrose-potassium phosphate-glyoxylic acid (counterstained with malachite-green). This method allows the visualisation of catecholaminergic nerves when the sections are exposed to ultraviolet light. In this study of primate vascular tissue, however, none of the monkey or baboon vertebral artery sections showed the presence of noradrenergic nerves in the tunica media - tunica adventitia junction or penetrating the tunica media of the arteries. These findings indicate that the intracranial vertebral artery does not have a neurogenic vasomotor function in primates.


Mitchell, J. (2004). An investigation of an autonomic innervation of the vertebral artery using monoamine histofluorescence. European Journal of Histochemistry, 48(2), 115-120.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2004
Journal European Journal of Histochemistry
Print ISSN 1121-760X
Publisher PAGEpress
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 2
Pages 115-120
Keywords vertebral artery, blood flow, cervical spine, rotation, vertebrobasilar ischemia
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