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Brain Res. 2000 May 12;864(2):205-12.

Regional cerebral blood flow responses to variable frequency whisker stimulation: an autoradiographic analysis.

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Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd., Milwaukee, WI, USA.


Activation of the rat primary somatosensory barrel field (S1BF) is a commonly used model to study the mechanisms of evoked coupled cortical blood flow changes. However, the relationship between these blood flow changes and variable whisker movement has not been completely characterized. We have previously shown that in urethane anesthetized rats, the magnitude of laser-Doppler measured cortical blood flow changes increase linearly with the frequency of full pad whisker movement over the physiological range of 1.5 to 10.5 s. To further test the hypothesis that local cortical blood flow increases with frequency of whisker movement and underlying neuronal activity, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was determined autoradiographically in seven urethane anesthetized SD rats. Selected rows of whiskers (rows C, D, E) were stimulated at 3 s on the right side of the rat's face and simultaneously at 10 s on the left side for 2 min prior to radioactive tracer administration. Subregions of somatosensory cortex were identified with the aid of thionin and cytochrome oxidase stained sections. Mean rCBF (ml/100 g/min) for S1BF were: S1BF [0 s] left cortex, 146+/-13; S1BF [0 s] right cortex, 158+/-15; S1BF[3 s], 160+/-13; S1BF [10 s] 178+/-14. In both stimulated and nonstimulated regions, the profile of blood flow increased across cortex laminae, peaking in layer IV and decreasing through deeper layers. Maximal blood flow increases elicited by whisker movement occurred in cortical layers I-IV. These data support the hypothesis that whisker movement elicited rCBF changes are input frequency dependent and are most pronounced in cortical layers I though IV. These data provide a strong framework in which to study the mechanisms of neuronal activity-blood flow coupling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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