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Fluctuating and sensory-induced vasodynamics in rodent cortex extend arteriole capacity.


ABSTRACT: Neural activity in the brain is followed by localized changes in blood flow and volume. We address the relative change in volume for arteriole vs. venous blood within primary vibrissa cortex of awake, head-fixed mice. Two-photon laser-scanning microscopy was used to measure spontaneous and sensory evoked changes in flow and volume at the level of single vessels. We find that arterioles exhibit slow (<1 Hz) spontaneous increases in their diameter, as well as pronounced dilation in response to both punctate and prolonged stimulation of the contralateral vibrissae. In contrast, venules dilate only in response to prolonged stimulation. We conclude that stimulation that occurs on the time scale of natural stimuli leads to a net increase in the reservoir of arteriole blood. Thus, a "bagpipe" model that highlights arteriole dilation should augment the current "balloon" model of venous distension in the interpretation of fMRI images.

SUBMITTER: Drew PJ 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3100929 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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