Differential reductions in the capillary red-blood-cell flux between retina and brain under chronic global hypoperfusion

Baoqiang Li, Ji Leng, Ikbal Şencan-Eǧilmez, Hajime Takase, Mohammed Ali H. Alfadhel, Buyin Fu, Mahnaz Shahidi, Eng H. Lo, Ken Arai, Sava Sakadžić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significance: It has been hypothesized that abnormal microcirculation in the retina might predict the risk of ischemic damages in the brain. Direct comparison between the retinal and the cerebral microcirculation using similar animal preparation and under similar experimental conditions would help test this hypothesis. Aim: We investigated capillary red-blood-cell (RBC) flux changes under controlled conditions and bilateral-carotid-artery-stenosis (BCAS)-induced hypoperfusion, and then compared them with our previous measurements performed in the brain. Approach: We measured capillary RBC flux in mouse retina with two-photon microscopy using a fluorescence-labeled RBC-passage approach. Key physiological parameters were monitored during experiments to ensure stable physiology. Results: We found that under the controlled conditions, capillary RBC flux in the retina was much higher than in the brain (i.e., cerebral cortical gray matter and subcortical white matter), and that BCAS induced a much larger decrease in capillary RBC flux in the retina than in the brain. Conclusions: We demonstrated a two-photon microscopy-based technique to efficiently measure capillary RBC flux in the retina. Since cerebral subcortical white matter often exhibits early pathological developments due to global hypoperfusion, our results suggest that retinal microcirculation may be utilized as an early marker of brain diseases involving global hypoperfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035001
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • brain imaging
  • capillary RBC flux
  • hypoperfusion
  • retinal imaging
  • two-photon microscopy


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