Effect of intravenous infusion of an α-adrenergic blocking agent on the haemodynamic changes in human masseter muscle induced by cold pressor stimulation

Kenji Maekawa, Takuo Kuboki, Takuya Miyawaki, Masahiko Shimada, Atsushi Yamashita, Glenn T. Clark

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This study evaluated the effect of intravenous infusion of a non- selective α-adrenergic blocking agent on masseter muscle haemodynamics induced by 4°C cold pressor stimulation (CPS) of the right foot and ankle, which reportedly evokes a rapidly increasing sympathetic nerve activity in human skeletal muscle. Nine healthy non-smoking males (mean age 23.7±2.1 year) with no history of chronic muscle pain or migraine participated. The haemoglobin (Hb) concentration in the right masseter was continuously recorded by non-invasive, near-infrared spectroscopy. Heart rate and blood pressure were also recorded. The experiment involved the following sequence: (1) a placebo (physiological saline) with a CPS trial; (2) a 30-sec maximal voluntary clenching (MVC)-only trial; and (3) an α-adrenergic blocking agent with a CPS trial. The saline and drug trials each involved continuous recording for 1 min before, 2 min during and 5 min after the CPS. Physiological saline (20 ml) or phentolamine mesylate (20 ml) were infused at the rate of 2 ml/min. This infusion was begun 15 min before baseline recording and participants were not aware which solution (saline or phentolamine) was being infused. For the MVC trial, each participant performed a 30-sec MVC of his jaw-closing muscles followed by a 15-min rest between, each trial. The individual Hb data were adjusted so that the baseline at the beginning of the experiment was equal to zero and all data were normalized as a percentage of the individual's highest absolute Hb change seen after the MVC. The mean baseline Hb concentrations 1 min before CPS were significantly higher in the α-blocker trial (83.6%) than in the placebo saline trial (P < 0.001). The change in mean Hb concentration from baseline during CPS in the α-blocker trial was significantly less than in the placebo trial (P = 0.006). Mean heart rate before CPS was also significantly higher in the α-blocker trial (85.2 beats/min) than in the placebo trial (69.6 beats/min) (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures between the placebo and α-blocker trials in any time period. The results suggest that non-selective α-adrenoceptor blockade increases the blood volume in the masseter muscle. This change might be due to a combination of peripheral vasodilation and an increase in cardiac output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


  • Cold pressor test
  • Masseter muscle
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Phentolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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