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Astrocytes monitor cerebral perfusion and control systemic circulation to maintain brain blood flow.


ABSTRACT: Astrocytes provide neurons with essential metabolic and structural support, modulate neuronal circuit activity and may also function as versatile surveyors of brain milieu, tuned to sense conditions of potential metabolic insufficiency. Here we show that astrocytes detect falling cerebral perfusion pressure and activate CNS autonomic sympathetic control circuits to increase systemic arterial blood pressure and heart rate with the purpose of maintaining brain blood flow and oxygen delivery. Studies conducted in experimental animals (laboratory rats) show that astrocytes respond to acute decreases in brain perfusion with elevations in intracellular [Ca2+]. Blockade of Ca2+-dependent signaling mechanisms in populations of astrocytes that reside alongside CNS sympathetic control circuits prevents compensatory increases in sympathetic nerve activity, heart rate and arterial blood pressure induced by reductions in cerebral perfusion. These data suggest that astrocytes function as intracranial baroreceptors and play an important role in homeostatic control of arterial blood pressure and brain blood flow.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6952443 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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