Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Characterization of blood flow in the mouse dorsal spinal venous system before and after dorsal spinal vein occlusion.

PMID 25564237


The availability of transgenic strains has made the laboratory mouse a popular model for the study of healthy and diseased state spinal cord (SC). Essential to identifying physiologic and pathologic events is an understanding of the microvascular network and flow patterns of the SC. Using 2-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) microscopy we performed in vivo measurements of blood flow in the lower thoracic portion of the mouse dorsal spinal vein (dSV) and in the first upstream branches supplying it, denoted as dorsal ascending venules (dAVs). We found that the dSV had large radiculomedullary veins (RMVs) exiting the SC, and that flow in the dSV between pairs of RMVs was bidirectional. Volumetric flow increased in each direction away from the point of bifurcation. Flow in the upstream dAVs varied with diameter in a manner consistent with a constant distal pressure source. By performing ex vivo 2PEF microscopy of fluorescent-gel perfused tissue, we created a 3-D map of the dorsal spinal vasculature. From these data, we constructed a simple model that predicted changes in the flow of upstream branches after occlusion of the dSV in different locations. Using an atraumatic model of dSV occlusion, we confirmed the predictions of this model in vivo.