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Noradrenaline provokes axon reflex hyperaemia in the skin of the human forearm

Drummond, P.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3711-8737 and Lipnicki, D.M. (1999) Noradrenaline provokes axon reflex hyperaemia in the skin of the human forearm. Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System, 77 (1). pp. 39-44.

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High doses of noradrenaline increase the sensitivity of skin to heat, presumably by sensitizing nociceptive afferent fibres. Since activation of these fibres increases local blood flow by an axon reflex mechanism, noradrenaline might simultaneously evoke adrenoceptor-mediated vasoconstriction and axon reflex vasodilatation. To investigate this possibility, noradrenaline was introduced into the skin of the human forearm by iontophoresis, and changes in blood flow were monitored in nearby skin. Increases in blood flow were greater near the site of noradrenaline iontophoresis than near the site of saline iontophoresis. Since the response was limited in its distribution to a few centimeters from the site of iontophoresis, hyperaemia was most likely due to a local mechanism rather than a spinal or supraspinal reflex. In addition, pretreatment of the skin with a local anaesthetic cream inhibited the increase in flow, indicating that the response was mediated neurally. These findings suggest that activation of nociceptive afferents by noradrenaline provokes axon reflex hyperaemia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: Elsevier
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