Enhanced parenchymal arteriole tone and astrocyte signaling protect neurovascular coupling mediated parenchymal arteriole vasodilation in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
ABSTRACT: 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:It has been proposed that prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) is released from astrocytic endfeet to dilate parenchymal arterioles through activation of prostanoid (EP(4)) receptors during neurovascular coupling. However, the direct effects of PGE(2) on isolated parenchymal arterioles have not been tested. Here, we examined the effects of PGE(2) on the diameter of isolated pressurized parenchymal arterioles from rat and mouse brain. Contrary to the prevailing assumption, we found that PGE(2) (0.1, 1, and 5 ?mol/L) constricted rather than dilated parenchymal arterioles. Vasoconstriction to PGE(2) was prevented by inhibitors of EP(1) receptors. These results strongly argue against a direct role of PGE(2) on arterioles during neurovascular coupling.
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:Computations are described which estimate flows in all branches of the cortical surface arteriole network from two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) microscopy images which provide the network topology and, in selected branches red blood cell (RBC) speeds and lumen diameters. Validation is done by comparing the flow predicted by the model with experimentally measured flows and by comparing the predicted flow redistribution in the network due to single-vessel strokes with experimental observations. The model predicts that tissue is protected from RBC flow decreases caused by multiple occlusions of surface arterioles but not penetrating arterioles. The model can also be used to study flow rerouting due to vessel dilations and constrictions.
Project description:The cellular events that cause ischemic neurological damage following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) have remained elusive. We report that subarachnoid blood profoundly impacts communication within the neurovascular unit-neurons, astrocytes, and arterioles-causing inversion of neurovascular coupling. Elevation of astrocytic endfoot Ca(2+) to ?400 nM by neuronal stimulation or to ?300 nM by Ca(2+) uncaging dilated parenchymal arterioles in control brain slices but caused vasoconstriction in post-SAH brain slices. Inhibition of K(+) efflux via astrocytic endfoot large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels prevented both neurally evoked vasodilation (control) and vasoconstriction (SAH). Consistent with the dual vasodilator/vasoconstrictor action of extracellular K(+) ([K(+)](o)), [K(+)](o) <10 mM dilated and [K(+)](o) >20 mM constricted isolated brain cortex parenchymal arterioles with or without SAH. Notably, elevation of external K(+) to 10 mM caused vasodilation in brain slices from control animals but caused a modest constriction in brain slices from SAH model rats; this latter effect was reversed by BK channel inhibition, which restored K(+)-induced dilations. Importantly, the amplitude of spontaneous astrocytic Ca(2+) oscillations was increased after SAH, with peak Ca(2+) reaching ?490 nM. Our data support a model in which SAH increases the amplitude of spontaneous astrocytic Ca(2+) oscillations sufficiently to activate endfoot BK channels and elevate [K(+)](o) in the restricted perivascular space. Abnormally elevated basal [K(+)](o) combined with further K(+) efflux stimulated by neuronal activity elevates [K(+)](o) above the dilation/constriction threshold, switching the polarity of arteriolar responses to vasoconstriction. Inversion of neurovascular coupling may contribute to the decreased cerebral blood flow and development of neurological deficits that commonly follow SAH.
Project description:Subarachnoid hemorrhage causes acute and long-lasting constrictions of pial arterioles. Whether these vessels dilate normally to neuronal activity is of great interest since a mismatch between delivery and consumption of glucose and oxygen may cause additional neuronal damage. Therefore, we investigated neurovascular reactivity of pial and parenchymal arterioles after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to subarachnoid hemorrhage by filament perforation or sham surgery. Neurovascular reactivity was assessed 3?h later by forepaw stimulation or inhalation of 10% CO2 Diameters of cerebral arterioles were assessed using two-photon microscopy. Neurovascular coupling and astrocytic endfoot Ca2+ were measured in brain slices using two-photon and infrared-differential interference contrast microscopy. Vessels of sham-operated mice dilated normally to CO2 and forepaw stimulation. Three hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage, CO2 reactivity was completely lost in both pial and parenchymal arterioles, while neurovascular coupling was not affected. Brain slices studies also showed normal neurovascular coupling and a normal increase in astrocytic endfoot Ca2+ acutely after subarachnoid hemorrhage. These findings suggest that communication between neurons, astrocytes, and parenchymal arterioles is not affected in the first few hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage, while CO2 reactivity, which is dependent on NO signaling, is completely lost.
Project description:Activation of astrocytes by neuronal signals plays a central role in the control of neuronal activity-dependent blood flow changes in the normal brain. The cellular pathways that mediate neurovascular coupling in the epileptic brain remain, however, poorly defined. In a cortical slice model of epilepsy, we found that the ictal, seizure-like discharge, and only to a minor extent the interictal discharge, evokes both a Ca(2+) increase in astrocyte endfeet and a vasomotor response. We also observed that rapid ictal discharge-induced arteriole responses were regularly preceded by Ca(2+) elevations in endfeet and were abolished by pharmacological inhibition of Ca(2+) signals in these astrocyte processes. Under these latter conditions, arterioles exhibited after the ictal discharge only slowly developing vasodilations. The poor efficacy of interictal discharges, compared with ictal discharges, to activate endfeet was confirmed also in the intact in vitro isolated guinea pig brain. Although the possibility of a direct contribution of neurons, in particular in the late response of cerebral blood vessels to epileptic discharges, should be taken into account, our study supports the view that astrocytes are central for neurovascular coupling also in the epileptic brain. The massive endfeet Ca(2+) elevations evoked by ictal discharges and the poor response to interictal events represent new information potentially relevant to interpret data from diagnostic brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance, utilized in the clinic to localize neural activity and to optimize neurosurgery of untreatable epilepsies.
Project description:The brain is highly susceptible to injury caused by hypertension because the increased blood pressure causes artery remodeling that can limit cerebral perfusion. Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonism prevents hypertensive cerebral artery remodeling, but the vascular cell types involved have not been defined. In the periphery, the endothelial MR mediates hypertension-induced vascular injury, but cerebral and peripheral arteries are anatomically distinct; thus, these findings cannot be extrapolated to the brain. The parenchymal arterioles determine cerebrovascular resistance. Determining the effects of hypertension and MR signaling on these arterioles could lead to a better understanding of cerebral small vessel disease. We hypothesized that endothelial MR signaling mediates inward cerebral artery remodeling and reduced cerebral perfusion during angiotensin II (AngII) hypertension. The biomechanics of the parenchymal arterioles and posterior cerebral arteries were studied in male C57Bl/6 and endothelial cell-specific MR knockout mice and their appropriate controls using pressure myography. AngII increased plasma aldosterone and decreased cerebral perfusion in C57Bl/6 and MR-intact littermates. Endothelial cell MR deletion improved cerebral perfusion in AngII-treated mice. AngII hypertension resulted in inward hypotrophic remodeling; this was prevented by MR antagonism and endothelial MR deletion. Our studies suggest that endothelial cell MR mediates hypertensive remodeling in the cerebral microcirculation and large pial arteries. AngII-induced inward remodeling of cerebral arteries and arterioles was associated with a reduction in cerebral perfusion that could worsen the outcome of stroke or contribute to vascular dementia.
Project description:A growing number of studies support an important contribution of astrocytes to neurovascular coupling, i.e., the phenomenon by which variations in neuronal activity trigger localized changes in blood flow that serve to match the metabolic demands of neurons. However, since both constriction and dilations have been observed in brain parenchymal arterioles upon astrocyte stimulation, the specific influences of these cells on the vasculature remain unclear. Using acute brain slices, we present evidence showing that the specific degree of constriction of rat cortical arterioles (vascular tone) is a key determinant of the magnitude and polarity of the diameter changes elicited by signals associated with neurovascular coupling. Thus elevation of extracellular K+ concentration, stimulation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR), or 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid application all elicited vascular responses that were affected by the particular resting arteriolar tone. Interestingly, the data suggest that the extent and/or polarity of the vascular responses are influenced by a delimited set point centered between 30 and 40% tone. In addition, we report that distinct, tone-dependent effects on arteriolar diameter occur upon stimulation of mGluR during inhibition of enzymes of the arachidonic acid pathway [i.e., phospholipase A2, cytochrome P-450 (CYP) omega-hydroxylase, CYP epoxygenase, and cycloxygenase-1]. Our findings may reconcile previous evidence in which direct astrocytic stimulation elicited either vasoconstrictions or vasodilations and also suggest the novel concept that, in addition to participating in functional hyperemia, astrocyte-derived signals play a role in adjusting vascular tone to a range where dilator responses are optimal.
Project description:Hypertension is an important contributor to cognitive decline but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Although much focus has been placed on the effect of hypertension on vascular function, less is understood of its effects on nonvascular cells. Because astrocytes and parenchymal arterioles (PA) form a functional unit (neurovascular unit), we tested the hypothesis that hypertension-induced changes in PA tone concomitantly increases astrocyte Ca2+ . We used cortical brain slices from 8-week-old mice to measure myogenic responses from pressurized and perfused PA. Chronic hypertension was induced in mice by 28-day angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion; PA resting tone and myogenic responses increased significantly. In addition, chronic hypertension significantly increased spontaneous Ca2+ events within astrocyte microdomains (MD). Similarly, a significant increase in astrocyte Ca2+ was observed during PA myogenic responses supporting enhanced vessel-to-astrocyte signaling. The transient potential receptor vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel, expressed in astrocyte processes in contact with blood vessels, namely endfeet, respond to hemodynamic stimuli such as increased pressure/flow. Supporting a role for TRPV4 channels in aberrant astrocyte Ca2+ dynamics in hypertension, cortical astrocytes from hypertensive mice showed augmented TRPV4 channel expression, currents and Ca2+ responses to the selective channel agonist GSK1016790A. In addition, pharmacological TRPV4 channel blockade or genetic deletion abrogated enhanced hypertension-induced increases in PA tone. Together, these data suggest chronic hypertension increases PA tone and Ca2+ events within astrocytes MD. We conclude that aberrant Ca2+ events in astrocyte constitute an early event toward the progression of cognitive decline.
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.