Epinephrine increases the selective permeability of epidurally administered [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin across the blood-spinal cord barrier

Kamatham A. Naidu, Eugene S. Fu, Leon D. Prockop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A rabbit experimental model was used to ascertain how epinephrine influences uptake of epidurally-administered [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin into regions of brain and spinal cord. [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin, 20 μCi each, were distributed in normal saline (control) and normal saline with 0.03 μM (1:200,000 diluted) epinephrine. These tracers were administered as bolus and slow epidural infusion for 90 min. Epinephrine decreased the uptake of [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin into the serum collected at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 min intervals during the administration of tracers. Epinephrine did not alter the uptake of [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin into the regions of the brain (cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem including midbrain and pons) and upper regions of the spinal cord (mid-cervical and mid-thoracic) compared to controls. The uptake of [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin into the mid-lumbar region is significantly increased compared to the control. The differential uptake of [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin into 1 cm thick sections of lumbo-sacral cord was significantly increased by epinephrine at the site of the epidural catheter placement, while sections of the cord distal on either end (thoracic and sacral ends) did not show significant differences compared to the control. The efficacy of epinephrine in increasing spinal cord uptake of hydrophilic [3H]-D-mannitol and [14C]-carboxyl-inulin may be attributed to its vasoconstrictive properties and its ability to increase vascular endothelial cell permeability across the blood-spinal cord barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1996



  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Blood-spinal cord barrier
  • Brain
  • Epidural administration
  • Epinephrine
  • Spinal cord
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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