Regulation of capillary perfusion by small arterioles is spatially organized.
To explore a mechanism for spatial recruitment of capillaries, this study determined whether the arterioles controlling capillary perfusion, which typically arise as sequential branches along a transverse arteriole, could respond differently from each other in situ in a spatially ordered way. Diameter changes were measured for these arterioles at a known location in the intact microvasculature in the cremaster muscle of anesthetized Golden hamsters (N = 67); each arteriole controls separate capillary groups. These arterioles all had the same concentration dependence to locally (by micropipette) applied norepinephrine (NE, 10(-9) to 10(-3) mol/L), and 10(-9) mol/L NE did not induce diameter changes when applied locally to individual vessels. However, 10(-9) mol/L NE added to the tissue superfusate, or 5% added superfusate oxygen (also locally subthreshold), each induced significant diameter changes (both constrictions and dilations), in different branches, that were presumably due to summation of individually subthreshold events that changed the prevailing conditions at the point of observation. These significant diameter changes were related to the maximal diameter or to initial tone of the branches, but these changes occurred in different ways for NE versus oxygen. With NE, the branch arterioles that constricted (versus dilated) were significantly larger (maximal diameter, 22.3 +/- 2.6 versus 15.9 +/- 2.1 microns) and had higher tone (fractional constriction, 0.53 +/- 0.05 versus 0.63 +/- 0.05); with oxygen, those that constricted were the same size as those that dilated (maximal diameter, 28.6 +/- 1.1 versus 30.5 +/- 2.7 microns), but constrictors had lower tone (fractional constriction, 0.49 +/- 0.04 versus 0.39 +/- 0.06).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association