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Biomed Opt Express. 2010 Oct 15;1(4):1173-1187.

Hemodynamic and metabolic diffuse optical monitoring in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia.

Abstract

Murine hindlimb ischemia is a useful model for investigation of the mechanisms of peripheral arterial disease and for understanding the role of endothelial cells and generic factors affecting vascular regeneration or angiogenesis. To date, important research with these models has explored tissue reperfusion following ischemia with Laser Doppler methods, methods which provide information about superficial (~mm) vascular regeneration. In this work, we employ diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) and diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) in mice after hindlimb ischemia. We hypothesize that vascular re-growth is not uniform in tissue, and therefore, since diffuse optical methods are capable of probing deep tissues, that the diffuse optics approach will provide a more complete picture of the angiogenesis process throughout the whole depth profile of the limb. Besides increased depth penetration, the combined measurements of DCS and DOS enable all-optical, noninvasive, longitudinal monitoring of tissue perfusion and oxygenation that reveals the interplay between these hemodynamic parameters during angiogenesis. Control mice were found to reestablish 90% of perfusion and oxygen consumption during this period, but oxygen saturation in the limb only partially recovered to about 30% of its initial value. The vascular recovery of mice with endothelial cell-specific deletion of HIF-2α was found to be significantly impaired relative to control mice, indicating that HIF-2α is important for endothelial cell functions in angiogenesis. Comparison of DOS/DCS measurements to parallel measurements in the murine models using Laser Doppler Flowmetry reveal differences in the reperfusion achieved by superficial versus deep tissue during neoangiogenesis; findings from histological analysis of blood vessel development were further correlated with these differences. In general, the combination of DCS and DOS enables experimenters to obtain useful information about oxygenation, metabolism, and perfusion throughout the limb. The results establish diffuse optics as a practical noninvasive method to evaluate the role of transcription factors, such as the endothelial cell-specific HIF-2α, in genetic ally modified mice.

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