Increased extracellular concentrations of norepinephrine in cortex and hippocampus following vagus nerve stimulation in the rat
The vagus nerve is an important source of afferent information about visceral states and it provides input to the locus coeruleus (LC), the major source of norepinephrine (NE) in the brain. It has been suggested that the effects of electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve on learning and memory, mood, seizure suppression, and recovery of function following brain damage are mediated, in part, by the release of brain NE. The hypothesis that left vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) at the cervical level results in increased extracellular NE concentrations in the cortex and hippocampus was tested at four stimulus intensities: 0.0, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mA. Stimulation at 0.0 and 0.25 mA had no effect on NE concentrations, while the 0.5 mA stimulation increased NE concentrations significantly in the hippocampus (23%), but not the cortex. However, 1.0 mA stimulation significantly increased NE concentrations in both the cortex (39%) and hippocampus (28%) bilaterally. The increases in NE were transient and confined to the stimulation periods. VNS did not alter NE concentrations in either structure during the inter-stimulation baseline periods. No differences were observed between NE levels in the initial baseline and the post-stimulation baselines. These findings support the hypothesis that VNS increases extracellular NE concentrations in both the hippocampus and cortex. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Roosevelt, R. W., Smith, D. C., Clough, R. W., Jensen, R. A., & Browning, R. A. (2006). Increased extracellular concentrations of norepinephrine in cortex and hippocampus following vagus nerve stimulation in the rat. Brain Research, 1119(1), 124-132. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.08.048