ResearchPad - arterioles https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Automatic analysis of normative retinal oximetry images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15756 Retinal oximetry is an important screening tool for early detection of retinal pathologies due to changes in the vasculature and also serves as a useful indicator of human-body-wide vascular abnormalities. We present an automatic technique for the measurement of oxygen saturation in retinal arterioles and venules using dual-wavelength retinal oximetry images. The technique is based on segmenting an optic-disc-centered ring-shaped region of interest and subsequent analysis of the oxygen saturation levels. We show that the two dominant peaks in the histogram of the oxygen saturation levels correspond to arteriolar and venular oxygen saturations from which the arterio-venous saturation difference (AVSD) can be calculated. For evaluation, we use a normative database of Asian Indian eyes containing 44 dual-wavelength retinal oximetry images. Validations against expert manual annotations of arterioles and venules show that the proposed technique results in an average arteriolar oxygen saturation (SatO2) of 87.48%, venular SatO2 of 57.41%, and AVSD of 30.07% in comparison with the expert ground-truth average arteriolar SatO2 of 89.41%, venular SatO2 of 56.32%, and AVSD of 33.09%, respectively. The results exhibit high consistency across the dataset indicating that the automated technique is an accurate alternative to the manual procedure.

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<![CDATA[Aspirin treatment does not increase microhemorrhage size in young or aged mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bccd5eed0c48491e622

Microhemorrhages are common in the aging brain and are thought to contribute to cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic aspirin therapy is widespread in older individuals and decreases the risk of coronary artery occlusions and stroke. There remains a concern that such aspirin usage may prolong bleeding after a vessel rupture in the brain, leading to larger bleeds that cause more damage to the surrounding tissue. Here, we aimed to understand the influence of aspirin usage on the size of cortical microhemorrhages and explored the impact of age. We used femtosecond laser ablation to rupture arterioles in the cortex of both young (2–5 months old) and aged (18–29 months old) mice dosed on aspirin in their drinking water and measured the extent of penetration of both red blood cells and blood plasma into the surrounding tissue. We found no difference in microhemorrhage size for both young and aged mice dosed on aspirin, as compared to controls (hematoma diameter = 104 +/- 39 (97 +/- 38) μm in controls and 109 +/- 25 (101 +/- 28) μm in aspirin-treated young (aged) mice; mean +/- SD). In contrast, young mice treated with intravenous heparin had an increased hematoma diameter of 136 +/- 44 μm. These data suggest that aspirin does not increase the size of microhemorrhages, supporting the safety of aspirin usage.

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<![CDATA[Simulations of blood as a suspension predicts a depth dependent hematocrit in the circulation throughout the cerebral cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfc6221d5eed0c484ec6b80

Recent advances in modeling oxygen supply to cortical brain tissue have begun to elucidate the functional mechanisms of neurovascular coupling. While the principal mechanisms of blood flow regulation after neuronal firing are generally known, mechanistic hemodynamic simulations cannot yet pinpoint the exact spatial and temporal coordination between the network of arteries, arterioles, capillaries and veins for the entire brain. Because of the potential significance of blood flow and oxygen supply simulations for illuminating spatiotemporal regulation inside the cortical microanatomy, there is a need to create mathematical models of the entire cerebral circulation with realistic anatomical detail. Our hypothesis is that an anatomically accurate reconstruction of the cerebrocirculatory architecture will inform about possible regulatory mechanisms of the neurovascular interface. In this article, we introduce large-scale networks of the murine cerebral circulation spanning the Circle of Willis, main cerebral arteries connected to the pial network down to the microcirculation in the capillary bed. Several multiscale models were generated from state-of-the-art neuroimaging data. Using a vascular network construction algorithm, the entire circulation of the middle cerebral artery was synthesized. Blood flow simulations indicate a consistent trend of higher hematocrit in deeper cortical layers, while surface layers with shorter vascular path lengths seem to carry comparatively lower red blood cell (RBC) concentrations. Moreover, the variability of RBC flux decreases with cortical depth. These results support the notion that plasma skimming serves a self-regulating function for maintaining uniform oxygen perfusion to neurons irrespective of their location in the blood supply hierarchy. Our computations also demonstrate the practicality of simulating blood flow for large portions of the mouse brain with existing computer resources. The efficient simulation of blood flow throughout the entire middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory is a promising milestone towards the final aim of predicting blood flow patterns for the entire brain.

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<![CDATA[Planar cell polarity genes frizzled4 and frizzled6 exert patterning influence on arterial vessel morphogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc7ad

Quantitative analysis of the vascular network anatomy is critical for the understanding of the vasculature structure and function. In this study, we have combined microcomputed tomography (microCT) and computational analysis to provide quantitative three-dimensional geometrical and topological characterization of the normal kidney vasculature, and to investigate how 2 core genes of the Wnt/planar cell polarity, Frizzled4 and Frizzled6, affect vascular network morphogenesis. Experiments were performed on frizzled4 (Fzd4-/-) and frizzled6 (Fzd6-/-) deleted mice and littermate controls (WT) perfused with a contrast medium after euthanasia and exsanguination. The kidneys were scanned with a high-resolution (16 μm) microCT imaging system, followed by 3D reconstruction of the arterial vasculature. Computational treatment includes decomposition of 3D networks based on Diameter-Defined Strahler Order (DDSO). We have calculated quantitative (i) Global scale parameters, such as the volume of the vasculature and its fractal dimension (ii) Structural parameters depending on the DDSO hierarchical levels such as hierarchical ordering, diameter, length and branching angles of the vessel segments, and (iii) Functional parameters such as estimated resistance to blood flow alongside the vascular tree and average density of terminal arterioles. In normal kidneys, fractal dimension was 2.07±0.11 (n = 7), and was significantly lower in Fzd4-/- (1.71±0.04; n = 4), and Fzd6-/- (1.54±0.09; n = 3) kidneys. The DDSO number was 5 in WT and Fzd4-/-, and only 4 in Fzd6-/-. Scaling characteristics such as diameter and length of vessel segments were altered in mutants, whereas bifurcation angles were not different from WT. Fzd4 and Fzd6 deletion increased vessel resistance, calculated using the Hagen-Poiseuille equation, for each DDSO, and decreased the density and the homogeneity of the distal vessel segments. Our results show that our methodology is suitable for 3D quantitative characterization of vascular networks, and that Fzd4 and Fzd6 genes have a deep patterning effect on arterial vessel morphogenesis that may determine its functional efficiency.

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<![CDATA[Retinal oximetry measures systemic hypoxia in central nervous system vessels in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf96

Background

Determination of the blood oxyhemoglobin saturation in the retinal vessels of the eye can be achieved through spectrophotometric retinal oximetry which provides access to the state of oxyhemoglobin saturation in the central nervous system circulation. The purpose of this study was to test the capability of the Oxymap T1 oximeter to detect systemic hypoxemia and the effect of supplemental oxygen on retinal vessel oxyhemoglobin saturation.

Methods

Oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in retinal arterioles and venules was measured in 11 subjects with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on long term oxygen therapy. Measurements were made with and without their daily supplemental oxygen. Eleven healthy age and gender matched subjects were measured during ambient air breathing for comparison of oxyhemoglobin saturation in retinal arterioles and venules. Retinal arteriolar oxyhemoglobin saturation in COPD subjects inspiring ambient air was compared with finger pulse oximetry and blood samples from radial artery.

Results

COPD subjects had significantly lower oxyhemoglobin saturation during ambient air breathing than healthy controls in both retinal arterioles (87.2%±4.9% vs. 93.4%±4.3%, p = 0.02; n = 11) and venules (45.0%±10.3% vs. 55.2%±5.5%, p = 0.01). Administration of their prescribed supplemental oxygen increased oxyhemoglobin saturation in retinal arterioles (87.2%±4.9% to 89.5%±6.0%, p = 0.02) but not in venules (45.0%±10.3% to 46.7%±12.8%, p = 0.3). Retinal oximetry values were slightly lower than radial artery blood values (mean percentage points difference = -5.0±5.4, 95% CI: -15.68 to 5.67) and finger pulse oximetry values (-3.1±5.5, 95% CI: -14.05 to 7.84).

Conclusions

The noninvasive Oxymap T1 retinal oximetry detects hypoxemia in central nervous system vessels in patients with severe COPD compared with healthy controls. The instrument is sensitive to changes in oxygen breathing but displays slightly lower measures than finger pulse oximetry or radial artery measures. With further technological improvement, retinal oximetry may offer noninvasive “on-line” measurement of oxygen levels in central circulation in general anesthesia and critically ill patients.

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<![CDATA[Polyethylene Glycol Camouflaged Earthworm Hemoglobin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b69715

Nearly 21 million components of blood and whole blood and transfused annually in the United States, while on average only 13.6 million units of blood are donated. As the demand for Red Blood Cells (RBCs) continues to increase due to the aging population, this deficit will be more significant. Despite decades of research to develop hemoglobin (Hb) based oxygen (O2) carriers (HBOCs) as RBC substitutes, there are no products approved for clinical use. Lumbricus terrestris erythrocruorin (LtEc) is the large acellular O2 carrying protein complex found in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris. LtEc is an extremely stable protein complex, resistant to autoxidation, and capable of transporting O2 to tissue when transfused into mammals. These characteristics render LtEc a promising candidate for the development of the next generation HBOCs. LtEc has a short half-life in circulation, limiting its application as a bridge over days, until blood became available. Conjugation with polyethylene glycol (PEG-LtEc) can extend LtEc circulation time. This study explores PEG-LtEc pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. To study PEG-LtEc pharmacokinetics, hamsters instrumented with the dorsal window chamber were subjected to a 40% exchange transfusion with 10 g/dL PEG-LtEc or LtEc and followed for 48 hours. To study the vascular response of PEG-LtEc, hamsters instrumented with the dorsal window chamber received multiple infusions of 10 g/dL PEG-LtEc or LtEc solution to increase plasma LtEc concentration to 0.5, then 1.0, and 1.5 g/dL, while monitoring the animals’ systemic and microcirculatory parameters. Results confirm that PEGylation of LtEc increases its circulation time, extending the half-life to 70 hours, 4 times longer than that of unPEGylated LtEc. However, PEGylation increased the rate of LtEc oxidation in vivo. Vascular analysis verified that PEG-LtEc showed the absence of microvascular vasoconstriction or systemic hypertension. The molecular size of PEG-LtEc did not change the colloid osmotic pressure or blood volume expansion capacity compared to LtEc, due to LtEc’s already large molecular size. Taken together, these results further encourage the development of PEG-LtEc as an O2 carrying therapeutic.

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<![CDATA[Regional early and progressive loss of brain pericytes but not vascular smooth muscle cells in adult mice with disrupted platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf0f0

Pericytes regulate key neurovascular functions of the brain. Studies in pericyte-deficient transgenic mice with aberrant signaling between endothelial-derived platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) in pericytes have contributed to better understanding of the role of pericytes in the brain. Here, we studied PdgfrβF7/F7 mice, which carry seven point mutations that disrupt PDGFRβ signaling causing loss of pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in the developing brain. We asked whether these mice have a stable or progressive vascular phenotype after birth, and whether both pericyte and VSMCs populations are affected in the adult brain. We found an early and progressive region-dependent loss of brain pericytes, microvascular reductions and blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown, which were more pronounced in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum than in the thalamus, whereas VSMCs population remained unaffected at the time when pericyte loss was already established. For example, compared to age-matched controls, PdgfrβF7/F7 mice between 4–6 and 36–48 weeks of age developed a region-dependent loss in pericyte coverage (22–46, 24–44 and 4–31%) and cell numbers (36–49, 34–64 and 11–36%), reduction in capillary length (20–39, 13–46 and 1–30%), and an increase in extravascular fibrinogen-derived deposits (3.4–5.2, 2.8–4.1 and 0–3.6-fold) demonstrating BBB breakdown in the cortex, hippocampus and thalamus, respectively. Capillary reductions and BBB breakdown correlated with loss of pericyte coverage. Our data suggest that PdgfrβF7/F7 mice develop an aggressive and rapid vascular phenotype without appreciable early involvement of VSMCs, therefore providing a valuable model to study regional effects of pericyte loss on brain vascular and neuronal functions. This model could be a useful tool for future studies directed at understanding the role of pericytes in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders associated with pericyte loss such as vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke and human immunodeficiency virus-associated neurocognitive disorder.

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<![CDATA[Retinal Oximetry with Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope in Infants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e4eb

Purpose

Dual wavelength retinal oximetry has been developed for adults, but is not available for infants. Retinal oximetry may provide insight into the pathophysiology of oxygen-mediated diseases like retinopathy of prematurity. More insight in the oxygen metabolism of the retina in infants may provide valuable clues for better understanding and subsequent prevention or treatment of the disease. The measurements of oxygen saturation are obtained with two fundus images simultaneously captured in two different wavelengths of light. The comparison in light absorption of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin can be used to estimate the oxygen saturation within the retinal vessels by means of a software algorithm. This study aims to make retinal oximetry available for neonates. The first step towards estimating retinal oxygen saturation is determining the optical density ratio. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to image healthy newborn infants with a scanning laser ophthalmoscope and determine the optical density ratio for retinal oximetry analysis.

Methods

Images of the retina of full-term healthy infants were obtained with an SLO, Optomap 200Tx (Optos), with two laser wavelengths (532nm and 633nm). The infant lay face down on the lower arm of the parent, while the parent supported the chest and chin with one hand, and stabilized the back with the other hand. No mydriatics or eyelid specula were used during this study. The images were analyzed with modified Oxymap Analyzer software for calculation of the Optical Density Ratio (ODR) and vessel width. The ODR is inversely and approximately linearly related to the oxygen saturation. Measurements were included from the superotemporal vessel pair. A paired t-test was used for statistical analysis.

Results

Fifty-nine infants, (58% female), were included with mean gestational age of 40 ± 1.3 weeks (mean ± SD) and mean post-natal age of 16 ± 4.8 days. A total of 28 images were selected for retinal oximetry analysis. The ODR was 0.256 ± 0.041 for the arterioles and 0.421 ± 0.089 for the venules (n = 28, p < 0.001). The measured vessel-width for the arterioles was 14.1 ± 2.7 pixels and for the venules 19.7 ± 3.7 pixels (n = 28, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Retinal oximetry can be performed in newborn infants by combining an SLO and a dual-wavelength algorithm software. Sensitivity of the approach is indicated by the fact that the ODR measurements are significantly different between the arterioles and the venules. However, more variability in ODR is seen with the SLO approach in babies than is seen with conventional oximetry in adults. This approach is completely non-invasive, non-contact and even avoids the use of mydriatics or eyelid specula.

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<![CDATA[Pattern of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and fish consumption and retinal vascular caliber in children and adolescents: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb9f9

We aimed to investigate whether fish and long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCn-3 PUFA) consumption changed appreciably during adolescence. We also assessed whether these dietary variables are associated with retinal microvascular signs (possible markers of future cardiovascular disease risk). 633 children had dietary data at ages 12 and 17. Fish and LCn-3 PUFA [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. Retinal vessel caliber was quantified from digital photographs using computer software. Mean energy-adjusted intakes (mg/day) of total LCn-3 PUFA, EPA, and DHA at age 12 were 297.1±261.1; 102.5±106.9; and 129.7±137.7, respectively; and this increased significantly at age 17 to: 347.0±324.0 (p<0.0001); 122.5±132.7 (p = 0.0001); and 160.3±171.4 (p <0.0001), respectively. Increasing quartiles of LCn-3PUFA intake were associated with widening of mean retinal arteriolar caliber among 17-year old girls ~3.9 μm (multivariable-adjusted P-trend = 0.001). Girls who consumed ≥2 serves of fish/week versus those who did not had ~2.1 μm wider retinal arterioles (p = 0.03). No associations were observed among boys or with retinal venules. Mean dietary intakes of LCn-3 PUFA increased during adolescence, but are still below recommended levels of consumption. These results suggest that LCn-3 PUFA and fish intake might have a beneficial influence.

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<![CDATA[Three-Dimensional Arrangement of Human Bone Marrow Microvessels Revealed by Immunohistology in Undecalcified Sections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82e53

The arrangement of microvessels in human bone marrow is so far unknown. We combined monoclonal antibodies against CD34 and against CD141 to visualise all microvessel endothelia in 21 serial sections of about 1 cm2 size derived from a human iliac crest. The specimen was not decalcified and embedded in Technovit® 9100. In different regions of interest, the microvasculature was reconstructed in three dimensions using automatic methods. The three-dimensional models were subject to a rigid semiautomatic and manual quality control. In iliac crest bone marrow, the adipose tissue harbours irregularly distributed haematopoietic areas. These are fed by networks of large sinuses, which are loosely connected to networks of small capillaries prevailing in areas of pure adipose tissue. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that capillaries and sinuses in human iliac crest bone marrow are partially arranged in parallel.

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<![CDATA[Depth-dependent flow and pressure characteristics in cortical microvascular networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd070

A better knowledge of the flow and pressure distribution in realistic microvascular networks is needed for improving our understanding of neurovascular coupling mechanisms and the related measurement techniques. Here, numerical simulations with discrete tracking of red blood cells (RBCs) are performed in three realistic microvascular networks from the mouse cerebral cortex. Our analysis is based on trajectories of individual RBCs and focuses on layer-specific flow phenomena until a cortical depth of 1 mm. The individual RBC trajectories reveal that in the capillary bed RBCs preferentially move in plane. Hence, the capillary flow field shows laminar patterns and a layer-specific analysis is valid. We demonstrate that for RBCs entering the capillary bed close to the cortical surface (< 400 μm) the largest pressure drop takes place in the capillaries (37%), while for deeper regions arterioles are responsible for 61% of the total pressure drop. Further flow characteristics, such as capillary transit time or RBC velocity, also vary significantly over cortical depth. Comparison of purely topological characteristics with flow-based ones shows that a combined interpretation of topology and flow is indispensable. Our results provide evidence that it is crucial to consider layer-specific differences for all investigations related to the flow and pressure distribution in the cortical vasculature. These findings support the hypothesis that for an efficient oxygen up-regulation at least two regulation mechanisms must be playing hand in hand, namely cerebral blood flow increase and microvascular flow homogenization. However, the contribution of both regulation mechanisms to oxygen up-regulation likely varies over depth.

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<![CDATA[Deficiency of superoxide dismutase promotes cerebral vascular hypertrophy and vascular dysfunction in hyperhomocysteinemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc7b7

There is an emerging consensus that hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for cerebral vascular disease and that homocysteine-lowering therapy protects from ischemic stroke. However, the mechanisms by which hyperhomocysteinemia produces abnormalities of cerebral vascular structure and function remain largely undefined. Our objective in this study was to define the mechanistic role of superoxide in hyperhomocysteinemia-induced cerebral vascular dysfunction and hypertrophy. Unlike previous studies, our experimental design included a genetic approach to alter superoxide levels by using superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)-deficient mice fed a high methionine/low folate diet to produce hyperhomocysteinemia. In wild-type mice, the hyperhomocysteinemic diet caused elevated superoxide levels and impaired responses to endothelium-dependent vasodilators in cerebral arterioles, and SOD1 deficiency compounded the severity of these effects. The cross-sectional area of the pial arteriolar wall was markedly increased in mice with SOD1 deficiency, and the hyperhomocysteinemic diet sensitized SOD1-deficient mice to this hypertrophic effect. Analysis of individual components of the vascular wall demonstrated a significant increase in the content of smooth muscle and elastin. We conclude that superoxide is a key driver of both cerebral vascular hypertrophy and vasomotor dysfunction in this model of dietary hyperhomocysteinemia. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms by which hyperhomocysteinemia promotes cerebral vascular disease and ischemic stroke.

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<![CDATA[Retinal Capillary Rarefaction in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da83ab0ee8fa60b9b69a

Purpose

In diabetes mellitus type 2, capillary rarefaction plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of end-organ damage. We investigated retinal capillary density in patients with early disease.

Methods

This cross-sectional study compares retinal capillary rarefaction determined by intercapillary distance (ICD) and capillary area (CapA), measured non-invasively and in vivo by scanning laser Doppler flowmetry, in 73 patients with type 2 diabetes, 55 healthy controls and 134 individuals with hypertension stage 1 or 2.

Results

In diabetic patients, ICD was greater (23.2±5.5 vs 20.2±4.2, p = 0.013) and CapA smaller (1592±595 vs 1821±652, p = 0.019) than in healthy controls after adjustment for differences in cardiovascular risk factors between the groups. Compared to hypertensive patients, diabetic individuals showed no difference in ICD (23.1±5.8, p = 0.781) and CapA (1556±649, p = 0.768).

Conclusion

In the early stage of diabetes type 2, patients showed capillary rarefaction compared to healthy individuals.

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<![CDATA[Microvascular narrowing and BP monitoring: A single centre observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c94054cd5eed0c484538581

Introduction

Half of all hypertensive individuals have inadequately-controlled BP because monitoring methods are ineffective. This single centre study examined consecutive subjects undergoing 24 hour BP measurements for clinic and ambulatory BP levels, and for end-organ damage (retinal microvascular abnormalities and left ventricular hypertrophy, LVH, > 1.1 cm). Retinal images were graded for microvascular retinopathy (Wong and Mitchell classification), and vessel calibre using a semiautomated method. Features were compared using chi-squared, Fisher’s exact or the student’s t test.

Methods

One hundred and thirty-one individuals (59 male, 45.0%, mean age 61.7 ± 14.5 years) were studied. Ninety-nine (76.2%) had a clinic BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg, 84 (64.6%) had a mean awake systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg, 100 (76.9%) had a mean sleeping systolic BP ≥ 120 mm Hg, and 100 (76.2%) had abnormal nocturnal BP dipping patterns. Sixty-nine individuals had undergone echocardiography and 23 (33.3%) had LVH.

Results

All participants had a mild (88.5%) or moderate (11.5%) microvascular retinopathy. Moderate microvascular retinopathy was found in 86.7% of those with a mean awake systolic BP ≥135 mm Hg (p = 0.058) but was not associated with other abnormal BP measurements, abnormal dipping patterns or LVH. However retinal arteriole calibre was reduced in subjects with a mean 24 hour awake systolic BP ≥ 135 mm Hg (p = 0.05). Retinal arteriole calibre was smaller in subjects with LVH (128.1 ± 13.5 μm compared with 137.6 ± 14.1 μm in normals, p = 0.014). Venular calibre was also less in subjects with LVH (185.4 ± 24.6 μm compared with 203.0 ± 27.2 μm in normals, p = 0.016). Arteriole narrowing predicted an increased risk of LVH (AUC 0.69, 95%CI 0.55 to 0.83) that was comparable with 24 hour systolic BP ≥130 mm Hg (AUC 0.68, 95%CI 0.53 to 0.82) and mean awake systolic BP ≥135 mm Hg (AUC 0.68, 95%CI 0.54 to 0.83).

Conclusions

This study suggests that retinal arteriole narrowing may be equally accurate in predicting LVH as any clinic or ambulatory BP measurement. The convenience and accuracy of microvascular calibre measurement mean that it should be investigated further for a role in routine hypertension assessment and monitoring.

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<![CDATA[Normative Values of Retinal Oxygen Saturation in Rhesus Monkeys: The Beijing Intracranial and Intraocular Pressure (iCOP) Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd024d

Objective

To study the normal values of the retinal oxygen saturation in Rhesus monkeys and to evaluated repeatability and reproducibility of retinal oxygen saturation measurements.

Methods

Eighteen adult Rhesus macaque monkeys were included in this experimental study. An Oxymap T1 retinal oximeter (Oxymap, Reykjavik, Iceland) was used to perform oximetry on all subjects. Global arterial (SaO2) and venous oxygen saturation (SvO2), arteriovenous difference in SO2 were measured. In the first examination, each eye was imaged three times. At the following two examinations, each eye was imaged once. All examinations were finished in one month. P values were calculated to evaluate the difference between the measurements during three visits by performing an ANOVA. Intra-visit and inter-visit intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was determined.

Results

At baseline, the average SaO2 and SvO2 were 89.48 ± 2.64% and 54.85 ± 2.18%, respectively. The global A-V difference was 34.63 ± 1.91%. The difference between the three visits was not significant (p>0.05). The highest A-V difference in SO2 and lowest saturations were found in the inferotemporal quadrant. Intra-session and inter-visit repeatability were both high. For all oxygen saturation parameters, the ICC values of the intra-session repeatability ranged between 0.92 and 0.96. As found previously, a relatively high ICC value for inter-visit repeatability also was found for all oxygen saturation measurements, ranging between 0.86 and 0.94, with the lowest values in the infero-nasal quadrant.

Conclusions

Our study is the first to describe retinal SO2 in healthy Rhesus monkeys. In normal monkey eyes, the reproducibility and repeatability of retinal oximetry oxygen saturation measurements were high in the retinal arterioles and venules. Our results support that Oxymap T1 retinal oximetry is a suitable and reliable technique in monkey studies.

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<![CDATA[Evidence of Flicker-Induced Functional Hyperaemia in the Smallest Vessels of the Human Retinal Blood Supply]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba6323

Regional changes in blood flow are initiated within neural tissue to help fuel local differences in neural activity. Classically, this response was thought to arise only in larger arterioles and venules. However, recently, it has been proposed that a) the smallest vessels of the circulation make a comparable contribution, and b) the response should be localised intermittently along such vessels, due to the known distribution of contractile mural cells. To assess these hypotheses in human neural tissue in vivo, we imaged the retinal microvasculature (diameters 3–28 μm) non-invasively, using adaptive optics, before and after delivery of focal (360 μm) patches of flickering visible light. Our results demonstrated a definite average response in 35% of all vessel segments analysed. In these responding vessels, the magnitude of proportional dilation (mean ± SEM for pre-capillary arterioles 13 ± 5%, capillaries 31 ± 8%, and post-capillary venules 10 ± 3%) is generally far greater than the magnitudes we and others have measured in the larger retinal vessels, supporting proposition a) above. The dilations observed in venules were unexpected based on previous animal work, and may be attributed either to differences in stimulus or species. Response heterogeneity across the network was high; responses were also heterogeneous along individual vessels (45% of vessel segments showed demonstrable locality in their response). These observations support proposition b) above. We also observed a definite average constriction across 7% of vessel segments (mean ± SEM constriction for capillaries -16 ± 3.2%, and post-capillary venules -18 ± 12%), which paints a picture of dynamic redistribution of flow throughout the smallest vessel networks in the retina in response to local, stimulus-driven metabolic demand.

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<![CDATA[The Effects of Vaccinium myrtillus Extract on Hamster Pial Microcirculation during Hypoperfusion-Reperfusion Injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da01ab0ee8fa60b73fa8

Introduction

The present study was aimed to assess the in vivo hamster pial microvessel alterations due to 30 min transient bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) and reperfusion (60 min); moreover, the neuroprotective effects of Vaccinium myrtillus extract, containing 34.7% of anthocyanins, were investigated.

Materials and Methods

Two groups of male hamsters were used: the first fed with control diet and the other with Vaccinium myrtillus supplemented diet. Hamster pial microcirculation was visualized by fluorescence microscopy through an open cranial window. Pial arterioles were classified according to Strahler’s method.

Results

In age-matched control diet-fed hamsters, BCCAO caused a decrease in diameter of all arterioles. At the end of reperfusion, the reduction of diameter in order 3 arterioles was by 8.4 ± 3.1%, 10.8 ± 2.3% and 12.1 ± 1.1% of baseline in the 2, 4 and 6 month control diet-fed hamsters, respectively. Microvascular permeability and leukocyte adhesion were markedly enhanced, while perfused capillary length (PCL) decreased. The response to acetylcholine and papaverine topical application was impaired; 2’-7’-dichlorofluoresceine-diacetate assay demonstrated a significant ROS production. At the end of BCCAO, in age-matched Vaccinium myrtillussupplemented diet-fed hamsters, the arteriolar diameter did not significantly change compared to baseline. After 60 min reperfusion, order 3 arterioles dilated by 9.3 ± 2.4%, 10.6 ± 3.1% and 11.8 ± 2.7% of baseline in the 2, 4 and 6 month Vaccinium myrtillus supplemented diet-fed hamsters, respectively. Microvascular leakage and leukocyte adhesion were significantly reduced in all groups according to the time-dependent treatment, when compared with the age-matched control diet-fed hamsters. Similarly, the reduction in PCL was progressively prevented. Finally, the response to acetylcholine and papaverine topical application was preserved and there was no significant increase in ROS production in all groups.

Conclusions

In conclusion, Vaccinium myrtillusextract protected pial microcirculation during hypoperfusion-reperfusion, preventing vasoconstriction, microvascular permeability, leukocyte adhesion, reduction in PCL and preserving the endothelium function.

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<![CDATA[Tracking the stochastic fate of cells of the renin lineage after podocyte depletion using multicolor reporters and intravital imaging]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc145

Podocyte depletion plays a major role in focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS). Because cells of the renin lineage (CoRL) serve as adult podocyte and parietal epithelial cell (PEC) progenitor candidates, we generated Ren1cCre/R26R-ConfettiTG/WT and Ren1dCre/R26R-ConfettiTG/WT mice to determine CoRL clonality during podocyte replacement. Four CoRL reporters (GFP, YFP, RFP, CFP) were restricted to cells in the juxtaglomerular compartment (JGC) at baseline. Following abrupt podocyte depletion in experimental FSGS, all four CoRL reporters were detected in a subset of glomeruli at day 28, where they co-expressed de novo four podocyte proteins (podocin, nephrin, WT-1 and p57) and two glomerular parietal epithelial cell (PEC) proteins (claudin-1, PAX8). To monitor the precise migration of a subset of CoRL over a 2w period following podocyte depletion, intravital multiphoton microscopy was used. Our findings demonstrate direct visual support for the migration of single CoRL from the JGC to the parietal Bowman’s capsule, early proximal tubule, mesangium and glomerular tuft. In summary, these results suggest that following podocyte depletion, multi-clonal CoRL migrate to the glomerulus and replace podocyte and PECs in experimental FSGS.

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<![CDATA[Effects of PI and PIII Snake Venom Haemorrhagic Metalloproteinases on the Microvasculature: A Confocal Microscopy Study on the Mouse Cremaster Muscle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b73014

The precise mechanisms by which Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMPs) disrupt the microvasculature and cause haemorrhage have not been completely elucidated, and novel in vivo models are needed. In the present study, we compared the effects induced by BaP1, a PI SVMP isolated from Bothrops asper venom, and CsH1, a PIII SVMP from Crotalus simus venom, on cremaster muscle microvasculature by topical application of the toxins on isolated tissue (i.e., ex vivo model), and by intra-scrotal administration of the toxins (i.e., in vivo model). The whole tissue was fixed and immunostained to visualize the three components of blood vessels by confocal microscopy. In the ex vivo model, BaP1 was able to degrade type IV collagen and laminin from the BM of microvessels. Moreover, both SVMPs degraded type IV collagen from the BM in capillaries to a higher extent than in PCV and arterioles. CsH1 had a stronger effect on type IV collagen than BaP1. In the in vivo model, the effect of BaP1 on type IV collagen was widespread to the BM of arterioles and PCV. On the other hand, BaP1 was able to disrupt the endothelial barrier in PCV and to increase vascular permeability. Moreover, this toxin increased the size of gaps between pericytes in PCV and created new gaps between smooth muscle cells in arterioles in ex vivo conditions. These effects were not observed in the case of CsH1. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that both SVMPs degrade type IV collagen from the BM in capillaries in vivo. Moreover, while the action of CsH1 is more directed to the BM of microvessels, the effects of BaP1 are widespread to other microvascular components. This study provides new insights in the mechanism of haemorrhage and other pathological effects induced by these toxins.

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