Fluctuating and sensory-induced vasodynamics in rodent cortex extend arteriole capacity

Patrick J. Drew, Andy Y. Shih, David Kleinfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


Neural activity in the brain is followed by localized changes in blood flow and volume. We address the relative change in volume for arteriole vs. venous blood within primary vibrissa cortex of awake, head-fixed mice. Two-photon laser-scanning microscopywas used to measure spontaneous and sensory evoked changes in flow and volume at the level of single vessels. We find that arterioles exhibit slow (<1 Hz) spontaneous increases in their diameter, as well as pronounced dilation in response to both punctate and prolonged stimulation of the contralateral vibrissae. In contrast, venules dilate only in response to prolonged stimulation.We conclude that stimulation that occurs on the time scale of natural stimuli leads to a net increase in the reservoir of arteriole blood. Thus, a "bagpipe" model that highlights arteriole dilation should augment the current "balloon" model of venous distension in the interpretation of fMRI images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8473-8478
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 17 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuating and sensory-induced vasodynamics in rodent cortex extend arteriole capacity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this