In vivo imaging of hemodynamic redistribution and arteriogenesis across microvascular network

Microcirculation. 2020 Apr;27(3):e12598. doi: 10.1111/micc.12598. Epub 2019 Dec 2.


Objective: Arteriogenesis is an important mechanism that contributes to restoration of oxygen supply in chronically ischemic tissues, but remains incompletely understood due to technical limitations. This study presents a novel approach for comprehensive assessment of the remodeling pattern in a complex microvascular network containing multiple collateral microvessels.

Methods: We have developed a hardware-software integrated platform for quantitative, longitudinal, and label-free imaging of network-wide hemodynamic changes and arteriogenesis at the single-vessel level. By ligating feeding arteries in the mouse ear, we induced network-wide hemodynamic redistribution and localized arteriogenesis. The utility of this technology was demonstrated by studying the influence of obesity on microvascular arteriogenesis.

Results: Simultaneously monitoring the remodeling of competing collateral arterioles revealed a new, inverse relationship between initial vascular resistance and extent of arteriogenesis. Obese mice exhibited similar remodeling responses to lean mice through the first week, including diameter increase and flow upregulation in collateral arterioles. However, these gains were subsequently lost in obese mice.

Conclusions: Capable of label-free, comprehensive, and dynamic quantification of structural and functional changes in the microvascular network in vivo, this platform opens up new opportunities to study the mechanisms of microvascular arteriogenesis, its implications in diseases, and approaches to pharmacologically rectify microvascular dysfunction.

Keywords: arterial ligation; arteriogenesis; hemodynamic redistribution; microvascular remodeling; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiography*
  • Animals
  • Arterioles / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterioles / physiopathology
  • Collateral Circulation*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Ischemia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemia* / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*