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.
Project description:Functional hyperemia of the cerebral vascular system matches regional blood flow to the metabolic demands of the brain. One current model of neurovascular control holds that glutamate released by neurons activates group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) on astrocytes, resulting in the production of diffusible messengers that act to regulate smooth muscle cells surrounding cerebral arterioles. The acute mouse brain slice is an experimental system in which changes in arteriole diameter can precisely measured with light microscopy. Stimulation of the brain slice triggers specific cellular responses that can be correlated to changes in arteriole diameter. Here we used inositol trisphosphate receptor type 2 (IP(3)R2) and cytosolic phospholipase A(2) alpha (cPLA(2)?) deficient mice to determine if astrocyte mGluR activation coupled to IP(3)R2-mediated Ca(2+) release and subsequent cPLA(2)? activation is required for arteriole regulation. We measured changes in astrocyte cytosolic free Ca(2+) and arteriole diameters in response to mGluR agonist or electrical field stimulation in acute neocortical mouse brain slices maintained in 95% or 20% O(2). Astrocyte Ca(2+) and arteriole responses to mGluR activation were absent in IP(3)R2(-/-) slices. Astrocyte Ca(2+) responses to mGluR activation were unchanged by deletion of cPLA(2)? but arteriole responses to either mGluR agonist or electrical stimulation were ablated. The valence of changes in arteriole diameter (dilation/constriction) was dependent upon both stimulus and O(2) concentration. Neuron-derived NO and activation of the group I mGluRs are required for responses to electrical stimulation. These findings indicate that an mGluR/IP(3)R2/cPLA(2)? signaling cascade in astrocytes is required to transduce neuronal glutamate release into arteriole responses.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The brain is critically dependent on the regulation of blood flow to nourish active neurons. One widely held hypothesis of blood flow regulation holds that active neurons stimulate Ca(2+) increases in glial cells, triggering glial release of vasodilating agents. This hypothesis has been challenged, as arteriole dilation can occur in the absence of glial Ca(2+) signaling. We address this controversy by imaging glial Ca(2+) signaling and vessel dilation in the mouse retina. We find that sensory stimulation results in Ca(2+) increases in the glial endfeet contacting capillaries, but not arterioles, and that capillary dilations often follow spontaneous Ca(2+) signaling. In IP3R2(-/-) mice, where glial Ca(2+) signaling is reduced, light-evoked capillary, but not arteriole, dilation is abolished. The results show that, independent of arterioles, capillaries actively dilate and regulate blood flow. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that glial Ca(2+) signaling regulates capillary but not arteriole blood flow. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:We show that a Ca(2+)-dependent glial cell signaling mechanism is responsible for regulating capillary but not arteriole diameter. This finding resolves a long-standing controversy regarding the role of glial cells in regulating blood flow, demonstrating that glial Ca(2+) signaling is both necessary and sufficient to dilate capillaries. While the relative contributions of capillaries and arterioles to blood flow regulation remain unclear, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate capillary blood flow may ultimately lead to the development of therapies for treating diseases where blood flow regulation is disrupted, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy. This finding may also aid in revealing the underlying neuronal activity that generates BOLD fMRI signals.
Project description:Functional hyperemia is the regional increase in cerebral blood flow upon increases in neuronal activity which ensures that the metabolic demands of the neurons are met. Hypertension is known to impair the hyperemic response; however, the neurovascular coupling mechanisms by which this cerebrovascular dysfunction occurs have yet to be fully elucidated. To determine whether altered cortical parenchymal arteriole function or astrocyte signaling contribute to blunted neurovascular coupling in hypertension, we measured parenchymal arteriole reactivity and vascular smooth muscle cell Ca(2+) dynamics in cortical brain slices from normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) rats. We found that vasoconstriction in response to the thromboxane A2 receptor agonist U46619 and basal vascular smooth muscle cell Ca(2+) oscillation frequency were significantly increased in parenchymal arterioles from SHR. In perfused and pressurized parenchymal arterioles, myogenic tone was significantly increased in SHR. Although K(+)-induced parenchymal arteriole dilations were similar in WKY and SHR, metabotropic glutamate receptor activation-induced parenchymal arteriole dilations were enhanced in SHR. Further, neuronal stimulation-evoked parenchymal arteriole dilations were similar in SHR and WKY. Our data indicate that neurovascular coupling is not impaired in SHR, at least at the level of the parenchymal arterioles.
Project description:The critical closing pressure ( CrCP) of the cerebral circulation depends on both tissue intracranial pressure and vasomotor tone. CrCP defines the arterial blood pressure ( ABP) at which cerebral blood flow approaches zero, and their difference ( ABP?-? CrCP) is an accurate estimate of cerebral perfusion pressure. Here we demonstrate a novel non-invasive technique for continuous monitoring of CrCP at the bedside. The methodology combines optical diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) measurements of pulsatile cerebral blood flow in arterioles with concurrent ABP data during the cardiac cycle. Together, the two waveforms permit calculation of CrCP via the two-compartment Windkessel model for flow in the cerebral arterioles. Measurements of CrCP by optics (DCS) and transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) were carried out in 18 healthy adults; they demonstrated good agreement (R?=?0.66, slope?=?1.14?±?0.23) with means of 11.1?±?5.0 and 13.0?±?7.5?mmHg, respectively. Additionally, a potentially useful and rarely measured arteriole compliance parameter was derived from the phase difference between ABP and DCS arteriole blood flow waveforms. The measurements provide evidence that DCS signals originate predominantly from arteriole blood flow and are well suited for long-term continuous monitoring of CrCP and assessment of arteriole compliance in the clinic.
Project description:The hemodynamic functional response is used as a reliable marker of neuronal activity in countless studies of brain function and cognition. In newborns and infants, however, conflicting results have appeared in the literature concerning the typical response, and there is little information on brain metabolism and functional activation. Measurement of all hemodynamic components and oxygen metabolism is critical for understanding neurovascular coupling in the developing brain. To this end, we combined multiple near infrared spectroscopy techniques to measure oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, cerebral blood volume (CBV), and relative cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the somatosensory cortex of 6 preterm neonates during passive tactile stimulation of the hand. By combining these measures we estimated relative changes in the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (rCMRO2). CBF starts increasing immediately after stimulus onset, and returns to baseline before blood volume. This is consistent with the model of pre-capillary arteriole active dilation driving the CBF response, with a subsequent CBV increase influenced by capillaries and veins dilating passively to accommodate the extra blood. rCMRO2 estimated using the steady-state formulation shows a biphasic pattern: an increase immediately after stimulus onset, followed by a post-stimulus undershoot due to blood flow returning faster to baseline than oxygenation. However, assuming a longer mean transit time from the arterial to the venous compartment, due to the immature vascular system of premature infants, reduces the post-stimulus undershoot and increases the flow/consumption ratio to values closer to adult values reported in the literature. We are the first to report changes in local rCBF and rCMRO2 during functional activation in preterm infants. The ability to measure these variables in addition to hemoglobin concentration changes is critical for understanding neurovascular coupling in the developing brain, and for using this coupling as a reliable functional imaging marker in neonates.
Project description:Occlusions of penetrating arterioles, which plunge into cortex and feed capillary beds, cause severe decreases in blood flow and are potential causes of ischemic microlesions. However, surrounding arterioles and capillary beds remain flowing and might provide collateral flow around the occlusion. We used femtosecond laser ablation to trigger clotting in single penetrating arterioles in rat cortex and two-photon microscopy to measure changes in microvessel diameter and red blood cell speed after the clot. We found that after occlusion of a single penetrating arteriole, nearby penetrating and surface arterioles did not dilate, suggesting that alternate blood flow routes are not actively recruited. In contrast, capillaries showed two types of reactions. Capillaries directly downstream from the occluded arteriole dilated after the clot, but other capillaries in the same vicinity did not dilate. This heterogeneity in capillary response suggests that signals for vasodilation are vascular rather than parenchymal in origin. Although both neighboring arterioles and capillaries dilated in response to topically applied acetylcholine after the occlusion, the flow in the territory of the occluded arteriole did not improve. Collateral flow from neighboring penetrating arterioles is neither actively recruited nor effective in improving blood flow after the occlusion of a single penetrating arteriole.
Project description:The increasing demand for donated human blood has spurred research to develop hemoglobin-based O(2) carriers (HBOCs) that can be used as red blood cell (RBC) substitutes. However, in vivo studies of acellular HBOCs have shown an increase in mean arterial pressure following transfusion that has been attributed to the HBOC's ability to scavenge NO (an important vasodilator that is synthesized by endothelial cells in the blood vessel wall that signals neighboring smooth muscle cells to relax). In this study, a mathematical model was developed to describe NO and O(2) transport in an arteriole containing a mixture of acellular HBOCs and RBCs. The acellular HBOCs studied in this work possessed a wide range of O(2) affinities, O(2) dissociation rate constants and NO reactivities in order to evaluate their effect on O(2) tension and NO concentration in the arteriole tissue region. By focusing on the concentration of NO that is localized in the arteriole smooth muscle cell region, the model can predict the vasopressor response of HBOCs. The results of this study confirmed that acellular HBOCs scavenge large amounts of NO from the entire arteriole (approximately 50% or more NO compared to RBCs only). A recombinant Hb, rHb3011, displayed the least NO reactivity and consequently left the most NO remaining in the arteriole. The NO concentration in the arteriole with respect to the other HBOCs studied was proportional to their NO reactivity. Therefore, the results of this study demonstrate that NO scavenging is an unavoidable consequence of transfusing HBOCs. To prevent or reduce vasodilatation, we suggest administration of NO by either inhaling NO or transfusing nitrite into the blood stream followed by transfusion of HBOC.
Project description:We demonstrate that Alexa Fluor 633 hydrazide (Alexa Fluor 633) selectively labels neocortical arteries and arterioles by binding to elastin fibers. We measured sensory stimulus-evoked arteriole dilation dynamics in mouse, rat and cat visual cortex using Alexa Fluor 633 together with neuronal activity using calcium indicators or blood flow using fluorescein dextran. Arteriole dilation decreased fluorescence recorded from immediately underlying neurons, representing a potential artifact during neuronal functional imaging experiments.
Project description:Ca(2+)-dependent pathways in neurons and astrocyte endfeet initiate changes in arteriole diameter to regulate local brain blood flow. Whether there exists a threshold of synaptic activity in which arteriole diameter is controlled independent of astrocyte endfeet Ca(2+) remains unclear. We used two-photon fluorescence microscopy to examine synaptically evoked synthetic or genetic Ca(2+) indicator signals around penetrating arterioles in acute slices of the rat neocortex. We discovered a threshold below which vasodilation occurred in the absence of endfeet Ca(2+) signals but with consistent neuronal Ca(2+) transients, suggesting endfoot Ca(2+) is not necessary for activity-dependent vasodilation under subtle degrees of brain activation.
Project description:Astrocytes can control basal synaptic strength and arteriole tone via their resting Ca2+ activity. However, whether resting astrocyte Ca2+ can adjust to a new steady-state level, with an impact on surrounding brain cells, remains unknown. Using two-photon Ca2+ imaging in male rat acute brain slices of the somatosensory neocortex, we found that theta burst neural activity produced an unexpected long-lasting reduction in astrocyte free Ca2+ in the soma and endfeet. The drop in intracellular Ca2+ was attenuated by antagonists targeting multiple ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors, and intracellular cascades involved Ca2+ stores and nitric oxide. The reduction in astrocyte endfoot Ca2+ was coincident with an increase in arteriole tone, and both the Ca2+ drop and the tone change were prevented by an NMDA receptor antagonist. Astrocyte patch-clamp experiments verified that the glutamate receptors in question were located on astrocytes and that Ca2+ changes within astrocytes were responsible for the long-lasting change in arteriole diameter caused by theta burst neural activity. In astrocytes from animals that lived in an enriched environment, we measured a relatively lower resting Ca2+ level that occluded any further drop in Ca2+ in response to theta burst activity. These data suggest that electrically evoked patterns of neural activity or natural experience can adjust steady-state resting astrocyte Ca2+ and that the effect has an impact on basal arteriole diameter.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The field of astrocyte-neuron and astrocyte-arteriole interactions is currently in a state of refinement. Experimental evidence ex vivo suggests that direct manipulation of astrocyte-free Ca2+ regulates synaptic signaling and local blood flow control; however, in vivo experiments fail to link synaptically evoked astrocyte Ca2+ transients and immediate changes to various astrocyte-mediated processes. To clarify this discrepancy, we examined a different aspect of astrocyte Ca2+: the resting, steady-state free Ca2+ of astrocytes, its modulation, and its potential role in the tonic regulation of surrounding brain cells. We found that ex vivo or in vivo neural activity induced a long-lasting reduction in resting free astrocyte Ca2+ and that this phenomenon changed arteriole tone.