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Homogenization of capillary flow and oxygenation in deeper cortical layers correlates with increased oxygen extraction

By Baoqiang Li, Tatiana V. Esipova, Ikbal Sencan, Kivilcim Kilic, Buyin Fu, Michele Desjardins, Mohammad Moeini, Sreekanth Kura, Mohammad A. Yaseen, Frederic Lesage, Leif Østergaard, Anna Devor, David A. Boas, Sergei A. Vinogradov, Sava Sakadžić

Posted 23 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/450932

Our understanding of how capillary blood flow and oxygen distribute across cortical layers to meet the local metabolic demand is incomplete. We addressed this question by using two-photon imaging of microvascular oxygen partial pressure (PO2) and flow in the whisker barrel cortex in awake mice at rest. Our measurements in layers I-V show that the capillary red-blood-cell flux and oxygenation heterogeneity, and the intracapillary resistance to oxygen delivery, all decrease with depth, reaching a minimum around layer IV, while the depth-dependent oxygen extraction fraction is increased in layer IV, where oxygen demand is presumably the highest. Our findings suggest that homogenization of physiological observables relevant to oxygen transport to tissue is an important part of the microvascular network adaptation to a local brain metabolism increase. These results will inform the biophysical models of layer-specific cerebral oxygen delivery and consumption and improve our understanding of diseases that affect the cerebral microcirculation.

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