The potential presence of myogenic regulation in the cerebral microvasculature of the rat was investigated using a method which alters intravascular pressure without appreciably changing cerebral perfusion pressure (arterial minus venous pressure). The entire rat was placed in a sealed box, with the cranial cavity open to the atmosphere and prepared for in vivo microscopy. By increasing the ambient pressure in the box, both systemic arterial and venous pressure could be changed by nearly equal amounts (± 20 mm Hg). Heart and respiratory rates were not influenced by changing ambient pressure by ± 20 mm Hg. At elevated ambient pressures, cortical arterioles constricted in linear proportion to the ambient pressure, whereas subatmospheric ambient pressures caused vasodilation whose magnitude was about equal at ambient pressures of -6 to -18 mm Hg. The calculated vessel wall tension typically remained within about ± 10-15% of control during changes of transmural pressure of ± 20-40%. In all cases, arteriolar responses to changes in ambient and intravascular pressure reached a new steady state within 10-15 seconds and were sustained for up to 30 minutes. These data are interpreted to indicate the presence of a myogenic vascular response in the brain vasculature of the rat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine