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Rivadulla C.,University of La Coruna | Rivadulla C.,Institute of Biomedical Research of Coruna INIBIC | de Labra C.,University of La Coruna | de Labra C.,Institute of Biomedical Research of Coruna INIBIC | And 3 more authors.

Spontaneous contraction and relaxation of arteries (and in some instances venules) has been termed vasomotion and has been observed in an extensive variety of tissues and species. However, its functions and underlying mechanisms are still under discussion. We demonstrate that in vivo spectrophotometry, measured simultaneously with extracellular recordings at the same locations in the visual thalamus of the cat, reveals vasomotion, measured as an oscillation (0.14hz) in the recorded oxyhemoglobin (OxyHb) signal, which appears spontaneously in the microcirculation and can last for periods of hours. During some non-oscillatory periods, maintained sensory stimulation evokes vasomotion lasting ~30s, resembling an adaptive vascular phenomenon. This oscillation in the oxyhaemoblobin signal is sensitive to pharmacological manipulation: it is inducible by chloralose anaesthesia and it can be temporarily blocked by systemic administration of adrenaline or acetylcholine (ACh). During these oscillatory periods, neurovascular coupling (i.e. the relationship between local neural activity and the rate of blood supply to that location) appears significantly altered. This raises important questions with regard to the interpretation of results from studies currently dependent upon a linear relationship between neural activity and blood flow, such as neuroimaging. © 2011 Rivadulla et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

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