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Review
, 419, 62-70

Experimental Vestibular Pharmacology: A Minireview With Special Reference to Neuroactive Substances and Antivertigo Drugs

  • PMID: 6399658
Review

Experimental Vestibular Pharmacology: A Minireview With Special Reference to Neuroactive Substances and Antivertigo Drugs

I Matsuoka et al. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl.

Abstract

Neurotransmitters and neuromodulators involved in the function of vestibular nuclei were reviewed with special reference to drugs used for treatment of motion sickness and vertigo. Biochemical, histochemical and electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that acetylcholine is a transmitter candidate from the afferent vestibular nerve to the lateral vestibular nucleus (LVN), because acetylcholine satisfies most criteria for a chemical transmitter in the central nervous system. It is unlikely, however, that monoamines such as noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin are transmitters in the vestibular neurons, since cell bodies and nerve terminals containing the monoamines have not been detected yet in the vestibular nuclei. Although histamine and H1-receptor blockers inhibit neuron activities in the vestibular nuclei, it is unclear at present whether histaminergic system is directly related to the function of vestibular neurons. It has been established that GABA is an inhibitory transmitter from the cerebellar Purkinje cells to the LVN neurons. Diazepam is considered to enhance the GABA effect on the LVN, thereby modifying the vestibular neuronal firing. Enkephalin-containing cell bodies and nerve terminals are found in the medial vestibular nucleus, and a few substance P-containing neurons have been observed in the vestibular nuclei. However, the functional role of these peptides on the vestibular system remains to be determined. Unlike histamine H1-receptor blockers, vasodilators such as cinnarizine, ifenprodil and adenosine triphosphate, which are effective in treatment of vertigo, produce an enhancement of responsiveness of neuron activities in the vestibular nuclei, probably as a result of an increase in blood flow in the brain.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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