Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuroscience. 2016 May 26;323:96-109. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.03.064. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Beyond neurovascular coupling, role of astrocytes in the regulation of vascular tone.

Author information

1
Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912, United States. Electronic address: jfilosa@gru.edu.
2
University of Arizona, 1305 N. Martin Avenue, P.O. Box 210203, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States.
3
Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912, United States.

Abstract

The brain possesses two intricate mechanisms that fulfill its continuous metabolic needs: cerebral autoregulation, which ensures constant cerebral blood flow over a wide range of arterial pressures and functional hyperemia, which ensures rapid delivery of oxygen and glucose to active neurons. Over the past decade, a number of important studies have identified astrocytes as key intermediaries in neurovascular coupling (NVC), the mechanism by which active neurons signal blood vessels to change their diameter. Activity-dependent increases in astrocytic Ca(2+) activity are thought to contribute to the release of vasoactive substances that facilitate arteriole vasodilation. A number of vasoactive signals have been identified and their role on vessel caliber assessed both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we discuss mechanisms implicating astrocytes in NVC-mediated vascular responses, limitations encountered as a result of the challenges in maintaining all the constituents of the neurovascular unit intact and deliberate current controversial findings disputing a main role for astrocytes in NVC. Finally, we briefly discuss the potential role of pericytes and microglia in NVC-mediated processes.

KEYWORDS:

astrocyte; calcium; cerebral blood flow; myogenic tone; neurovascular coupling

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center