Brain capillary perfusion in the spontaneously hypertensive rat during the wake-sleep cycle
Authorized Users Only
Lucchi, Maria Luisa
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
Hypertension is accompanied by circulatory changes in the brain and in other vascular districts; at disease onset, these changes may be largely functional and dependent on metabolic and vegetative drives. The wake-sleep cycle is a major physiological source of ultradian variability in autonomic function and in cerebral blood flow and metabolism. Aim of the study was to investigate whether sleep induces functional changes in the brain microcirculation in the developing hypertensive state. The fraction of brain capillaries perfused by plasma (perfused/ anatomical capillaries) was assessed in young (8-10 weeks) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) during quiet wakefulness, quiet sleep and active sleep. The density of anatomical capillaries was assessed in two groups of animals using both a histochemical method (alkaline phosphatase, AP, for morphometric measurements) and an immunofluorescence method (anti-fibronectin antibodies, FN, to detect all existing capillaries). The density of per...fused capillaries was determined by intravascular injection of a fluorescent marker. The fraction of anatomical capillaries perfused by plasma was always close to maximal (0.96-0.97), without significant variations among the states of the wake-sleep cycle, and was the same for AP-stained and FN-stained sections. Data thus indicate that in this model of essential hypertension no functional changes in plasma perfusion of cerebral capillaries occur in the early stages of the disease.