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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2013 May;33(5):649-56. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2013.25. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

The vascular conducted response in cerebral blood flow regulation.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Despite recent advances in our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind vascular conducted responses (VCRs) in systemic arterioles, we still know very little about their potential physiological and pathophysiological role in brain penetrating arterioles controlling blood flow to the deeper areas of the brain. The scope of the present review is to present an overview of the conceptual, mechanistic, and physiological role of VCRs in resistance vessels, and to discuss in detail the recent advances in our knowledge of VCRs in brain arterioles controlling cerebral blood flow. We provide a schematic view of the ion channels and intercellular communication pathways necessary for conduction of an electrical and mechanical response in the arteriolar wall, and discuss the local signaling mechanisms and cellular pathway involved in the responses to different local stimuli and in different vascular beds. Physiological modulation of VCRs, which is a rather new finding in this field, is discussed in the light of changes in plasma membrane ion channel conductance as a function of health status or disease. Finally, we discuss the possible role of VCRs in cerebrovascular function and disease as well as suggest future directions for studying VCRs in the cerebral circulation.

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