Theoretical comparison of wall-derived and erythrocyte-derived mechanisms for metabolic flow regulation in heterogeneous microvascular networks

Tuhin K. Roy, Axel R. Pries, Timothy W. Secomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of metabolic signals derived from erythrocytes and derived from the vessel wall for regulating blood flow in heterogeneous microvascular networks. A theoretical model is used to simulate blood flow, mass transport, and vascular responses. The model accounts for myogenic, shear-dependent, and metabolic flow regulation. Metabolic signals are assumed to be propagated upstream along vessel walls via a conducted response. Arteriolar tone is assumed to depend on the conducted metabolic signal as well as local wall shear stress and wall tension, and arteriolar diameters are calculated based on vascular smooth muscle mechanics. The model shows that under certain conditions metabolic regulation based on wall-derived signals can be more effective in matching perfusion to local oxygen demand relative to regulation based on erythrocyte-derived signals, resulting in higher extraction and lower oxygen deficit. The lower effectiveness of the erythrocyte-derived signal is shown to result in part from the unequal partition of hematocrit at diverging bifurcations, such that low-flow vessels tend to receive a reduced hematocrit and thereby experience a reduced erythrocyte-derived metabolic signal. The model simulations predict that metabolic signals independent of erythrocytes may play an important role in local metabolic regulation of vascular tone and flow distribution in heterogeneous microvessel networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1945-H1952
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume302
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2012

Keywords

  • Conducted response
  • Mathematical model
  • Metabolic signaling
  • Microvascular heterogeneity
  • Phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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