Assessing renal microvascular reactivity by laser speckle-contrast imaging in angiotensin-II-treated mice

Nicolas Mottard, Dan E. Berkowitz, Lakshmi Santhanam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The kidney is one of the main organs affected by microvascular damage wrought by hypertension. We developed an approach to investigate renal microcirculatory disturbance in live mice by measuring post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH), a reactivity test exploring endothelial and neuro-microvascular functioning. Laser speckle-contrast analysis (LASCA) assesses microvascular blood flow; it provides real-time images of spatial and temporal blood flow dynamics. We compared basal blood flow and PORH test between control and angiotensin-II-treated mice (Ang-II) to validate the model. Objective: The study objective was to develop an approach to investigate renal microcirculation, and then to compare microvascular reactivity assessed on LASCA in control versus Ang-II mice. Methods: Thirty 7-week-old wild-type C57BL/6J mice were allocated into two groups. One received angiotensin-II via osmotic minipumps (Ang-II; n=15); the other served as control (n=15). Basal blood flow was measured on LASCA. The PORH test was then performed in the two groups. Results: Control mice had significantly lower basal renal microcirculatory flow, expressed in perfusion units (PU), than Ang-II-treated mice (1448 ± 96 vs 1703 ± 185 PU, respectively; P < 0.05). Peak flow was lower in controls than in Ang-II mice (1617±104 vs.1724 ± 205 PU, respectively; P=0.21). Control mice had significantly higher kidney PORH than Ang-II mice (8±3 vs 1±4%, respectively; P < 0.05). Conclusion: We developed an innovative technique to study renal microcirculation in mice. Ang-II-treated mice showed significantly higher basal blood flow than controls, while PORH was significantly higher in controls than in Ang-II mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease
StatePublished - 2020


  • Hypertension
  • Laser speckle-contrast analysis
  • Microvascular reactivity
  • Renal microcirculation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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