Astrocyte control of blood flow

  • Grant R.J. Gordon
  • Sean J. Mulligan
  • Brian A. MacVicar

Astrocytes have recently been shown to be essential participants in the control of cerebral blood flow (CBF) through their prominent control of cerebral vessel diameter. Although the unique close relationship of astrocytes with cerebral blood vessels has long been recognized it is only within the last few years that evidence has shown how astrocytes might translate information to the vasculature on the activity level and energy demands of neurons. These findings suggest that astrocytes are key players in the system for the delivery and clearance of molecules important to brain function. Astrocytes possess the necessary signaling capability to induce both vasoconstriction as well as vasodilation in response to elevations in astrocyte end-feet Ca2+. Both types of vasomotor responses are initiated by the generation of arachidonic acid (AA) in astrocytes by Ca2+ sensitive phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Subsequent to AA formation, vasoconstriction occurs as a result of the generation of...


Nitric Oxide Cerebral Blood Flow Cortical Spreading Depression Vasomotor Response Neurovascular Coupling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Arachidonic acid


Adenosine 5′-triphosphate


Cerebral blood flow




Cortical spreading depression


Cytochrome P450


Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


Gamma-aminobutyric acid


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid


Intrinsic optical signal






N(G)-Nitro-l-arginine methyl ester


Metabotropic glutamate receptor


Reduced β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide




Nitric oxide


NO synthase


Prostaglandin E2


Phospholipase A2


Smooth muscle cells


(1S, 3R)-1-Aminocyclopentane-1, 3-dicarboxylic acid


Voltage-gated calcium channels


Volume-regulated anion channels


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant R.J. Gordon
    • 1
  • Sean J. Mulligan
    • 1
  • Brian A. MacVicar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and the Brain Research CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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