Capillary derecruitment distal to a coronary stenosis is implicated as the mechanism of reversible perfusion defect and potential myocardial ischemia during coronary hyperemia; however, the underlying mechanisms are not defined. We tested whether pericyte constriction underlies capillary derecruitment during hyperemia under conditions of stenosis. In vivo two-photon microscopy (2PM) and optical microangiography (OMAG) were used to measure hyperemia-induced changes in capillary diameter and perfusion in wild-type and pericyte-depleted mice with femoral artery stenosis. OMAG demonstrated that hyperemic challenge under stenosis produced capillary derecruitment associated with decreased RBC flux. 2PM demonstrated that hyperemia under control conditions induces 26 + 5% of capillaries to dilate and 19 + 3% to constrict. After stenosis, the proportion of capillaries dilating to hyperemia decreased to 14 + 4% (P ± 0.05), whereas proportion of constricting capillaries increased to 32 + 4% (P ± 0.05). Hyperemia-induced changes in capillary diameter occurred preferentially in capillary segments invested with pericytes. In a transgenic mouse model featuring partial pericyte depletion, only 14 + 3% of capillaries constricted to hyperemic challenge after stenosis, a significant reduction from 33 + 4% in wild-type littermate controls (P ± 0.04). These results provide for the first time direct visualization of hyperemia-induced capillary derecruitment distal to arterial stenosis and demonstrate that pericyte constriction underlies this phenomenon in vivo. These results could have important therapeutic implications in the treatment of exercise-induced ischemia. NEW & NOTEWORTHY In the setting of coronary arterial stenosis, hyperemia produces a reversible perfusion defect resulting from capillary derecruitment that is believed to underlie cardiac ischemia under hyperemic conditions. We use optical microangiography and in vivo two-photon microscopy to visualize capillary derecruitment distal to a femoral arterial stenosis with cellular resolution. We demonstrate that capillary constriction in response to hyperemia in the setting of stenosis is dependent on pericytes, contractile mural cells investing the microcirculation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|State||Published - Aug 2019|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)