And xii.; Savignoni, Il Vaso di Haghia Triada).
Paldo, Tuto and Vaso (according to Mabillon); Assumption of the Virgin; Combat between the Virtues and the Vices.
As the vaso-motor centre in the medulla oblongata is also stimulated, as well as the contractions of the heart, there is thus trebly caused a very great rise in the blood-pressure.
The muscular wall of the blood-vessels also exhibits tonic contraction, which, however, seems to be mainly traceable to a continual excitation of the muscle cells by nervous influence conveyed to them along their nerves, and originating in the great vaso motor centre in the bulb.
The action upon the vaso-motor system is, however, fairly clear.
Whether effected entirely by action on the nerve terminals, or by an additional influence upon the vaso-motor centre in the medulla oblongata, atropine certainly causes extreme dilatation of the blood-vessels, so much so that the skin becomes flushed and there may appear, after large doses, an erythematous rash, which must be carefully distinguished, in cases of supposed belladonna poisoning, from that of scarlet fever: more especially as the temperature may be elevated and the pulse is very rapid in both conditions.
But whilst the characteristic action of atropine is to dilate the blood-vessels, its first action is to stimulate the vaso-motor centre - thereby causing temporary contraction of the vessels - and to increase the rapidity of the heart's action, so that the blood-pressure rapidly rises.
Small doses of any of them dilate the blood vessels from an action on the vaso-motor centre in the medulla oblongata, as a result of which the heart beats more rapidly and the blood circulates more freely; but larger doses have a general depressing effect upon the circulatory system.