Investigating the role of nitric oxide in regulating blood flow and oxygen delivery from in vivo electrochemical measurements in eye and brain

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003;530:359-70. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-0075-9_33.


We have previously shown from direct, in vivo measurements of NO in cats with recessed electrochemical microsensors that NO mediates increases in ONH blood flow during functional activation of the eye by flickering light. We have also reported that there are low frequency (< 15 cycles/min) spontaneous oscillations in NO that appear to be passively coupled to oscillations in blood flow at similar frequencies in the cat ONH. In this paper, we describe similarities between in vivo measurements of NO in the ONH of the cat eye and in the cortex of the rat brain. These data are consistent with a role for NO in the coupling of blood flow with increases in neuronal activity, autoregulation of blood flow, hyperemia, and vasodilation during hypoxia and hypercapnia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Eye / blood supply
  • Eye / metabolism*
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Oxygen