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      Phase Resetting of Arterial Vasomotion by Burst Stimulation of Perivascular Nerves

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          Arteries display cyclic diameter variations, vasomotion. In vivo, these rhythmic contractions are modulated by the influence of sympathetic nerves. In this study, we investigated the effect of burst stimulation of intramural nerves in vitro on the vasomotion of rat mesenteric small arteries. Vessels were mounted for isometric force measurement. After initiation of vasomotion with noradrenaline (0.5–2 µ M), periarterial sympathetic nerves were stimulated electrically (10 impulses at 20 Hz) at approximately half-minute intervals. With a delay of 2–3 s, a neurogenic burst caused a brief contraction of the vascular smooth muscle and altered the period of the current vasomotion cycle. The effect on amplitude decayed rapidly and was practically not apparent in the next vasomotion cycle after the burst. With respect to period, stimulation at increasing intervals from the trough in force of vasomotion caused gradual prolongation of the cycle until a critical interval was reached, after which cycle duration was reduced instead. Since subsequent cycles were not affected, a change in phase remained. When two segments of oscillating arteries were mounted in a two-vessel myograph, simultaneously applied bursts of impulses synchronized their oscillation. The data suggest that changes in neural activity are able to make different vessels oscillate in phase, thereby coordinating vasomotion in different parts of the vascular tree, possibly explaining the synchronicity of vasomotion in different vascular beds that can be observed in vivo.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Vasomotion: mechanisms and physiological importance.

          That smooth muscles dilate and contract rhythmically has been known for a long time and the phenomenon has been studied for nearly as long. However, the causes and effects of smooth muscle oscillation (termed vasomotion) are far from clear. It is thought that vasomotion aids the delivery of oxygen to tissues surrounding capillary beds. On the other hand, unregulated vasomotion might participate in the development and maintenance of pathophysiological states. Nilsson and Aalkjaer review what is known about vasomotion and its consequences.
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            Hypothesis for the initiation of vasomotion.

            Vasomotion is the regular variation in tone of arteries. In our study, we suggest a model for the initiation of vasomotion. We suggest that intermittent release of Ca(2+) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR, cytosolic oscillator), which is initially unsynchronized between the vascular smooth muscle cells, becomes synchronized to initiate vasomotion. The synchronization is achieved by an ion current over the cell membrane, which is activated by the oscillating Ca(2+) release. This current results in an oscillating membrane potential, which synchronizes the SR in the vessel wall and starts vasomotion. Therefore, the pacemaker of the vascular wall can be envisaged as a diffuse array of individual cytosolic oscillators that become entrained by a reciprocal interaction with the cell membrane. The model is supported by experimental data. Confocal [Ca(2+)](i) imaging and isometric force development in isolated rat resistance arteries showed that low norepinephrine concentrations induced SR-dependent unsynchronized waves of Ca(2+) in the vascular smooth muscle. In the presence of the endothelium, the waves converted to global synchronized oscillations of [Ca(2+)](i) after some time, and vasomotion appeared. Synchronization was also seen in the absence of endothelium if 8-bromo-cGMP was added to the bath. Using the patch-clamp technique and microelectrodes, we showed that Ca(2+) release can activate an inward current in isolated smooth muscle cells from the arteries and cause depolarization. These electrophysiological effects of Ca(2+) release were cGMP dependent, which is consistent with the possibility that they are important for the cGMP-dependent synchronization. Further support for the model is the observation that a short-lasting current pulse can initiate vasomotion in an unsynchronized artery as expected from the model.
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              Impaired peripheral vasomotion in diabetes.

              To test the hypothesis that vasomotion, the rhythmic contraction exhibited by small arteries and arterioles, is impaired in diabetic subjects compared with healthy control subjects. We mathematically modeled the oscillations in laser Doppler microvascular measurements taken from the pulpar surface of the index finger in 20 healthy control subjects and 20 age-matched diabetic subjects (8 with type I and 12 with type II diabetes). The mean duration of diabetes was 17.1 +/- 2.3 years, and mean HbA1c was 9.1 +/- 0.4%. Blood flow was measured for 5 min as subjects rested quietly in a closed room. Fast Fourier transformation was performed to provide the frequency power spectrum of each recording. Amplitude of vasomotion was correlated with six quantitative measurements of neuropathy. Diabetic subjects had impaired low-frequency oscillation vasomotion in 75% of age-matched patients (15 of 20 patients), with mean amplitudes of 24.9 +/- 6.4 vs. 129.0 +/- 33.2 (P < 0.0039). Of six somatic and autonomic neuropathy variables, only the warm thermal sensory threshold correlated significantly with the mean amplitude of vasomotion (r = -0.75, P < 0.0009). Patterns of peripheral vasomotion are clearly disordered in diabetes. The loss of low-frequency oscillations observed here suggests a peripheral vascular abnormality that extends past the capillary network to arterial vessels. It is uncertain whether the accompanying small unmyelinated nerve C-fiber dysfunction is a cause or consequence of the impaired microvascular function. Measurement of vasomotion may prove useful as a novel test for peripheral neurovascular function.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                April 2005
                13 April 2005
                : 42
                : 2
                : 165-173
                aLaboratory of Biocybernetics, A.V. Vishnevsky Surgery Institute, bDepartment of Human and Animal Physiology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; cDepartment of Physiology and The Water and Salt Centre, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark
                84405 J Vasc Res 2005;42:165–173
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 2, References: 37, Pages: 9
                Research Paper


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