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Vasomotion and blood flow regulation in hamster skeletal muscle microcirculation: A theoretical and experimental study.

  • Ursino, M
  • Colantuoni, A
  • Bertuglia, S
Published Article
Microvascular research
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1998
PMID: 9828162


A mathematical model of a microvasculature was used to study the effects of myogenic and flow-dependent stimuli on the characteristics of vasomotion and microvascular perfusion regulation. The model includes three branching orders of arterioles derived from in vivo observations and incorporates a mechanism for terminal arteriolar closure during vasomotion. Simulations were performed to evaluate the effect of vasodilation and vasoconstriction on vasomotion pattern, and the changes in arteriolar effective diameter and flow in response to arterial blood pressure variations triggering the regulatory mechanisms. Vasomotion patterns were studied in the hamster cutaneous muscle, visualized by fluorescent microscopy, in control conditions and after injection of acetylcholine (Ach) or NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). We have found that vasomotion may be caused by different combinations of feedback mechanisms, including a strong rate-dependent myogenic response or a strong flow-dependent mechanism with no rate-dependent response. Decreasing the rate-dependent component of the myogenic mechanism and increasing the time constant of the flow-dependent mechanism causes vessel stabilization and disappearance of vasomotion. In hamster microcirculation, Ach decreased vasomotion frequency and increased vasomotion amplitude and arteriolar effective diameter, whereas L-NMMA caused a slight increase in vasomotion frequency and decrease in effective diameter. Model simulations, under dilatory and constrictory stimuli, confirmed these results. Moreover, the model predicted that mean blood flow is maintained closer to normal despite arterial pressure changes (+/-15% flow changes versus +/-50% pressure variations) when the vessels were in nonoscillatory than when they are in oscillatory state. In conclusion, a large variety of vasomotion patterns affect arteriolar resistance and microvessel perfusion in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, in the presence of vasomotion the network exhibits a poorer aptitude for regulating blood flow during arterial pressure changes (i.e., worse autoregulation) than the nonoscillatory network.

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