The dura mater is a vascularized membrane surrounding the brain and is heavily innervated by sensory nerves. Our knowledge of the dural vasculature has been limited to pathological conditions, such as headaches, but little is known about the dural blood flow regulation during behavior. To better understand the dynamics of dural vessels during behavior, we used two-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PLSM) to measure the diameter changes of single dural and pial vessels in the awake mouse during voluntary locomotion. Surprisingly, we found that voluntary locomotion drove the constriction of dural vessels, and the dynamics of these constrictions could be captured with a linear convolution model. Dural vessel constrictions did not mirror the large increases in intracranial pressure (ICP) during locomotion, indicating that dural vessel constriction was not caused passively by compression. To study how behaviorally driven dynamics of dural vessels might be altered in pathological states, we injected the vasodilator calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which induces headache in humans. CGRP dilated dural, but not pial, vessels and significantly reduced spontaneous locomotion but did not block locomotion-induced constrictions in dural vessels. Sumatriptan, a drug commonly used to treat headaches, blocked the vascular and behavioral the effects of CGRP. These findings suggest that, in the awake animal, the diameters of dural vessels are regulated dynamically during behavior and during drug-induced pathological states.
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