DMSO as a vehicle for central injections: tests with feeding elicited by norepinephrine injected into the paraventricular nucleus

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. Jan-Feb 2002;71(1-2):277-82. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(01)00659-1.


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is becoming increasingly popular as a vehicle in studies employing central injections. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the vehicle required for solubilization of substances for central injection [75% DMSO and 25% artificial CSF (aCSF)] would alter the well-characterized stimulatory response to norepinephrine (NE) injected into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) on short-term food intake. To evaluate its suitability, we compared the effects of repeated unilateral injections of NE dissolved in two different vehicles (100% aCSF or 75% DMSO, 25% aCSF), in separate groups of animals every 48 h over a 30-day period. NE (40 nmol) stimulated food intake by approximately sevenfold compared to either vehicle alone, and the stimulatory effect was similar whether aCSF or 75% DMSO was used as a vehicle. Furthermore, the NE-induced feeding did not vary in magnitude across a series of 13 tests. These results suggest that 75% DMSO is a suitable vehicle for administering NE (and likely other water-insoluble substances)in small volumes of 0.3 microl into specific brain regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / administration & dosage*
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Eating / physiology
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / administration & dosage*
  • Norepinephrine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / drug effects*
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Solvents / administration & dosage
  • Sympathomimetics / administration & dosage
  • Sympathomimetics / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Solvents
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Norepinephrine
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide