Experimental and theoretical studies of oxygen gradients in rat pial microvessels

Maithili Sharan, Eugene P. Vovenko, Arjun Vadapalli, Aleksander S. Popel, Roland N. Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Using modified oxygen needle microelectrodes and intravital videomicroscopy, measurements were made of tissue oxygen tension (PO 2) profiles near cortical arterioles and transmural PO2 gradients in the pial arterioles of the rat. Under control conditions, the transmural PO2 gradient averaged 1.17±0.06 mm Hg/μm (mean±s.e., n=40). Local arteriolar dilation resulted in a marked decrease in the transmural PO2 gradient to 0.68±0.04 mm Hg/μm (P<0.001, n=38). The major finding of this study is a dependence of the transmural PO2 gradient on the vascular tone of the pial arterioles. Using a model of oxygen transport in an arteriole and experimental PO2 profiles, values of radial perivascular and intravascular O 2 fluxes were estimated. Our theoretical estimates show that oxygen flux values at the outer surface of the arteriolar wall are approximately 10-5 mL O2/cm2 per sec, independent of the values of the arteriolar wall O2 consumption within a wide range of consumption values. This also means that PO2 transmural gradients for cerebral arterioles are within the limits of 1 to 2 mm Hg/μm. The data lead to the conclusion that O2 consumption of the arteriolar wall is within the range for the surrounding tissue and O2 consumption of the endothelial layer appears to have no substantial impact on the transmural PO2 gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1604
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Cortical microvessels
  • O transport model
  • Oxygen microelectrodes
  • Tissue PO profiles
  • Transmural PO gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental and theoretical studies of oxygen gradients in rat pial microvessels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this