In order to elucidate why spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) develop larger brain infarcts distal to an arterial occlusion than normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, we determined the surface and volume densities of cerebral capillaries, and the regional cerebral blood flow distal to an arterial occlusion in SHR and WKY rats
Occlusion of the middle cerebral artery was chosen because the middle cerebral artery territory is most commonly affected by cerebral infarcts in man
Surface and volume densities of capillaries in the neocortex of the middle cerebral artery territory were measured by stereological techniques on histological sections. Fifteen minutes after ligation of the right middle cerebral artery, regional cerebral blood flow was measured autoradiographically by the [14C]-iodoantipyrine method
The capillary density of the neocortex did not differ between the SHR and WKY rats. The blood flow was significantly lower within the middle cerebral artery territory in the SHR than in the WKY rats
The reduced blood flow distal to the occlusion in SHR is probably a consequence of structural adaptation of arterial resistance vessels, rather than being caused by reduced capillary density
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