The possibility that adenosine and ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K(ATP)) might be involved in the mechanisms of the increases in cerebral blood flow (CBF) that occur in insulin-induced hypoglycemia was examined. Cerebral blood flow was measured by the [14C]iodoantipyrine method in conscious rats during insulin-induced, moderate hypoglycemia (2 to 3 mmol/L glucose in arterial plasma) after intravenous injections of 10 to 20 mg/kg of caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, or intracisternal infusion of 1 to 2 μmol/L glibenclamide, a K(ATP) channel inhibitor. Cerebral blood flow was also measured in corresponding normoglycemic and drug-free control groups. Cerebral blood flow was 51% higher in untreated hypoglycemic than in untreated normoglycemic rats (P < 0.01). Caffeine had a small, statistically insignificant effect on CBF in normoglycemic rats, but reduced the CBF response to hypoglycemia in a dose-dependent manner, i.e., 27% increase with 10 mg/kg and complete elimination with 20 mg/kg. Chemical determinations by HPLC in extracts of freeze-blown brains showed significant increases in the levels of adenosine and its degradation products, inosine and hypoxanthine, during hypoglycemia (P < 0.05). Intracisternal glibenclamide had little effect on CBF in normoglycemia, but, like caffeine, produced dose-dependent reductions in the magnitude of the increases in CBF during hypoglycemia, i.e., +66% with glibenclamide-free artificial CSF administration, +25% with 1 μmol/L glibenclamide, and almost complete blockade (+5%) with 2 μmol/L glibenclamide. These results suggest that adenosine and K(ATP) channels may play a role in the increases in CBF during hypoglycemia.
- ATP-sensitive K channels
- Adenosine receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine