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J Biomech. 2010 Oct 19;43(14):2717-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.06.024. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Perivascular tethering modulates the geometry and biomechanics of cerebral arterioles.

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  • 1Department of Systems Biology and Translational Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX, USA.


Recent studies have renewed interest in the effects of perivascular tethering on vascular mechanics, particularly growth and remodeling. We quantified effects of axial and circumferential tethering on rabbit pial arterioles from the ventral occipital lobe of the brain. The homeostatic axial pre-stretch, which is influenced by perivascular tethering, was measured in situ to be 1.24±0.04. Using a cannulated microvessel preparation, wall mechanics were then quantified in vitro for isolated arterioles at low (1.10) or normal (1.24) values of axial stretch and for tethered arterioles having perivascular support. Axial stretch did not significantly affect changes in circumferential stretch or stress upon pressurization, but circumferential tethering caused arteriolar geometry to change from a circular cross-section at normal pressure to an elliptical one at pressures above and below normal. Calculations suggested that the observed levels of ellipticity could cause a modest decrease in volumetric blood flow, but also a pronounced variation in shear stress around the circumference of the arteriole. An elliptical cross-section could thus increase vascular resistance or promote luminal remodeling at pressures different from normal. This characterization of effects of perivascular tethering on pial arterioles should prove useful in future studies of roles of perturbed cerebral blood flow on the propensity of the cerebral microcirculation to remodel.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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