UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A tight squeeze: How do we make sense of small changes in microvascular diameter?

Davis, Harvey; Attwell, David; (2023) A tight squeeze: How do we make sense of small changes in microvascular diameter? The Journal of Physiology , 601 (12) pp. 2263-2272. 10.1113/JP284207. Green open access

[thumbnail of Attwell_A tight squeeze. How do we make sense of small changes in microvascular diameter_VoR.pdf]
Preview
Text
Attwell_A tight squeeze. How do we make sense of small changes in microvascular diameter_VoR.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The brain is an energetically demanding tissue which, to function adequately, requires constant fine tuning of its supporting blood flow, and hence energy supply. Whilst blood flow was traditionally believed to be regulated only by vascular smooth muscle cells on arteries and arterioles supplying the brain, recent work has suggested a critical role for capillary pericytes, which are also contractile. This concept has evoked some controversy, especially over the relative contributions of arterioles and capillaries to the control of cerebral blood flow. Here we outline why pericytes are in a privileged position to control cerebral blood flow. First we discuss the evidence, and fundamental equations, which describe how the small starting diameter of capillaries, compared to upstream arterioles, confers a potentially greater control by capillary pericytes than by arterioles over total cerebral vascular resistance. Then we suggest that the faster time frame over which low branch order capillary pericytes dilate in response to local energy demands provides a niche role for pericytes to regulate blood flow compared to slower responding arterioles. Finally, we discuss the role of pericytes in capillary stalling, whereby pericyte contraction appears to facilitate a transient stall of circulating blood cells, exacerbating the effect of pericytes upon cerebral blood flow.

Type: Article
Title: A tight squeeze: How do we make sense of small changes in microvascular diameter?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1113/JP284207
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1113/JP284207
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Physiological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10168651
Downloads since deposit
41Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item