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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.42 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Apr. 1945 

Estudos sôbre a excitação química da córtex cerebral (Ação da acetilcolina)

H. Mcussatché1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Divisão de Fisiologia, Brasil


The author has studied the influence of acetylcholine solutions directly applied on the motor cortex of dogs, cats monkeys and rabbits. For this purpose small squares of filter paper were soaked in the acetylcholine solution and soon afterwards laid on the motor cortex. Solutions varying from 0,2 to 10 per cent have been experimented. It has been shown that local application of the solutions on the motor points, previously localized by induction coil, produced motor reactions. It has been found, in the dogs that 10 per cent acetylcholine solutions cause localized muscular twitchings (clonus) in almost all the animals experimented. Generalised epileptiform convulsions were obtained in44,4% of the dogs. Convulsions were also obtained by employing 1 per cent solution of acetylcholine. Definite response has been obtained with 0,2 per cent solution. Failure of motor action, pointed out by other authors, has been related to the use of anesthetics. Convulsions were easily produced by rapid light mechanical stimulations of the skin covering the muscles in conection with the excited motor point, and the application on the motor point of acetylcholine. The results on monkeys can be summarized as follows. Two species of monkeys were experimented: Cebus capucinus and Macaca mulata. In the monkeys C. capucinus generalised convulsive reactions were induced with actylcholine solutions in a concentration as low as 0,5 per cent. Motor reaction or convulsive seizeres were obtained in seven of the eight monkeys used. Three monkeys M. mulata were stimulated with 10 per cent acetylcholine solution but only localized muscular contraction hae been observed. Similar results has been obtained on the motor cortex of cats and rabbits. One of the three cats employed has shown epileptiform convulsions and the remaining only localized muscular contractions. In the rabbits muscular twitchings have been also induced. The sensitizing power of eserine on the action of acetylcholine has been also searched. The results indicate that a previous application of eserine solution on the motor center, potentiates the action of acetylcholine. The intensity of the muscular twitchings is greater than the obtained before the application of the eserine solution. Generalised epileptiform convulsions sometimes appeared following the use of lower concentrations of acetylcholine than those previously employed. Experiments have been carried out by injecting eserine and prostigmine by parenteral route. A dosis dufficient for induce small muscular tremors did not enhance obviously the motor effects produced by the application of the acetylcholine solutions on the motor cortex. From seven dogs experimented, all previously tested for convulsive seiruzes by application of 1 and 10 per cent acetylcholine solution with negative results, only one has shown epileptiform convulsions after the injection of prostigmine. Morphine has also been tested as facilitating substance for convulsions induced by acetylcholine. Six from the nine dogs submitted to the experiments, developed epileptiform seizures after injection of morphine and stimulation of the motor cortex with acetylcholine. (Table IV). In another series of experiments atropine and nicotine have been studied as for to their action on the motor effects of acetylcholine. Nicotine has a strong convulsant action, even when employed in very high concentration. Since a depressant effect has not appeared even by the applications of high concentrations of nicotine in the motor corteõ of dogs, unlike the classical observations for the autonomus nervous system, it was not possible to verify the action of acetylcholine on a motor center paralised by nicotine. It is important to not that the motor phenomena observed after the first aplication of acetylcholine, can desappear by the renewal of the pieces of filter paper soaked in the acetylcholine solution. Atropine, either applied on the motor point in low concentration, or injected in sufficient amount for inhibiting the “muscarinic effects” of acetylcholine on the autonomous nervous system, did not prevent the motor reactions of acetylcholine on the cerebral cortex.


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