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Regulation of the microvascular circulation in the leg muscles, pancreas and small intestine in rats.


PMID 26140259

Abstract

To study the microvascular circulation, we examined the proportion of open and functioning capillaries in the leg muscles, pancreas and small intestine of anesthetized rats. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled Lycopersicon esculentum lectin was injected into the heart and allowed to circulate for 3xa0min to label open and functioning capillaries. Specimens were removed, frozen, sectioned and double-immunostained. Using one section, open and functioning capillaries were detected by immunostaining for this lectin bound to endothelial cells, while all capillaries were visualized by immunostaining for platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1 or CD31). These capillaries were semi-automatically detected and counted by fluorescence microscopy. The percentages of open and functioning capillaries were as follows: the soleus muscle, 93.0xa0±xa05.5%; superficial zone of the gastrocnemius muscle, 90.8xa0±xa06.2%; deep zone of the gastrocnemius muscle, 95.6xa0±xa04.0%; the plantaris muscle, 94.1xa0±xa02.7%; the pancreas, 86.3xa0±xa011.7%; and the small intestine, 91.1xa0±xa04.9% (nxa0=xa08, each). There was no significant difference among these data by the Kruskal-Wallis test. This study clearly demonstrated that the proportions of open and functioning capillaries are high and similar among the leg muscles, pancreas and small intestine in spite of their structural and functional differences. This finding agrees with previous studies and supports the notion that the microvascular circulation is mainly controlled by changing of the blood flow in each capillary rather than changing the proportion of open and functioning capillaries.