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The post-arteriole transitional zone: a specialized capillary region that regulates blood flow within the CNS microvasculature 2023 Mughal et al

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by Andy, Feb 9, 2023.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK

    The brain is an energy hog, consuming available energy supplies at a rate out of all proportion to its relatively small size. This outsized demand, largely reflecting the unique computational activity of the brain, is met by an ensemble of neurovascular coupling mechanisms that link neuronal activity with local increases in blood delivery. This just-in-time replenishment strategy, made necessary by the limited energy-storage capacity of neurons, complicates the nutrient-delivery task of the cerebral vasculature, layering on a temporo-spatial requirement that invites—and challenges—mechanistic interpretation.

    The center of gravity of research efforts to disentangle these mechanisms has shifted from an initial emphasis on astrocyte-arteriole–level processes to mechanisms that operate on the capillary level, a shift that has brought into sharp focus questions regarding the fine control of blood distribution to active neurons. As these investigations have drilled down into finer reaches of the microvasculature, they have revealed an arteriole-proximate subregion of CNS capillary networks that serves a regulatory function in directing blood flow into and within downstream capillaries. They have also illuminated differences in researchers’ perspectives on the vascular structures and identity of mural cells in this region that impart the vasomodulatory effects that control blood distribution.

    In this review, we highlight the regulatory role of a variably named region of the microvasculature, referred to here as the post-arteriole transition zone, in channeling blood flow within CNS capillary networks, and underscore the contribution of dynamically contractile perivascular mural cells—generally, but not universally, recognized as pericytes—to this function.

    Paywall, https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/JP282246

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