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Synchronization in renal microcirculation unveiled with high-resolution blood flow imaging

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  • Dmitry Postnov
  • Donald J. Marsh, Brown University
  • ,
  • Will A. Cupples, Simon Fraser University
  • ,
  • Niels Henrik Holstein-Rathlou, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Olga Sosnovtseva, University of Copenhagen

Internephron interaction is fundamental for kidney function. Earlier studies have shown that nephrons signal to each other, synchronize over short distances, and potentially form large synchronized clusters. Such clusters would play an important role in renal autoregulation, but due to the technological limitations, their presence is yet to be confirmed. In the present study, we introduce an approach for high-resolution laser speckle imaging of renal blood flow and apply it to estimate the frequency and phase differences in rat kidney microcirculation under different conditions. The analysis unveiled the spatial and temporal evolution of synchronized blood flow clusters of various sizes, including the formation of large (>90 vessels) and long-lived clusters (>10 periods) locked at the frequency of the tubular glomerular feedback mechanism. Administration of vasoactive agents caused significant changes in the synchronization patterns and, thus, in nephrons’ co-operative dynamics. Specifically, infusion of vasoconstrictor angiotensin II promoted stronger synchronization, while acetylcholine caused complete desynchronization. The results confirm the presence of the local synchronization in the renal microcirculatory blood flow and that it changes depending on the condition of the vascular network and the blood pressure, which will have further implications for the role of such synchronization in pathologies development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere75284
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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