Initial oligemia with capillary flow stop followed by hyperemia during K+-induced cortical spreading depression in rats

Minoru Tomita, Istvan Schiszler, Yutaka Tomita, Norio Tanahashi, Hidetaka Takeda, Takashi Osada, Norihiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Local cerebral blood volume (CBV) and capillary flow changes in regions of depolarizing neurons during K+-induced cortical spreading depression (CSD) in the cerebral cortex of α-chloralose-urethane-anesthetized rats were examined employing a transillumination (550 nm) video system. Capillary flow was calculated as the reciprocal of mean transit times of blood in pixels of 40 μm × 40 μm, each of which contains a few capillaries. Potassium microinjection into the cortex evoked repetitive wave-ring spreads of oligemia at a speed of ca. 2.33 ± 0.48 mm/min. During the spread of CSD, tracer (either saline or carbon black) was injected into the internal carotid artery. Colocated with the oligemic wave, we detected capillary flow stop as evidenced by disappearance of the hemodilution curves. At any location in the region of interest within the cerebral cortex, we observed cyclic changes of capillary flow stop/hyperperfusion in synchrony with oligemia/ hyperemia fluctuations. The initial flow stop and oligemia were ascribed to capillary compression by astroglial cell swelling, presumably at the pericapillary endfeet, since the oligemia occurred before larger vessel changes. We conclude that local depolarizing neurons can decrease adjacent capillary flow directly and immediately, most likely via astroglial cell swelling, and that the flow stop triggers upstream arteriolar dilatation for capillary hyperperfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-747
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Astroglial swelling
  • Blood transit
  • Hemodilution curve
  • Light transmission image through the cortex
  • Neurovascular coupling
  • Wave-ring spread of oligemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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