Multi-Tracer Autoradiography for the Simultaneous Measurement of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

  • Günter Mies
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 153)


As early as 1890, Roy and Sherrington hypothesized a close relationship between functional activity, cerebral metabolism and cerebral blood flow. Convincing evidence was provided by subsequent experimental and clinical observations in which cerebral blood flow was shown to respond to functional activation (Alexander, 1912; Cobb and Talbott, 1927; Schmidt and Hendrix, 1937; Serota and Gerard, 1938; Penfield et al., 1939). With the development of the nitrous oxide technique for the quantitative determination of global cerebral blood flow and metabolism (Kety and Schmidt, 1945) it became possible to measure both parameters in animals and man and this yielded the first general correlations between the level of consciousness, blood flow and oxidative metabolism (Kety, 1949). Exploiting the principle of inert gas exchange in tissues (Kety, 1951), Landau et al. (1955) introduced an autoradiographic method for the in-vivo measurement of blood flow by which it was possible to recognize the heterogeneity in local cerebral perfusion. For example, visual stimulation was associated with an increase in local blood flow which was restricted to regions of the visual pathway (Freygang and Sokoloff, 1958) thus indicating an adjustment of local circulation to functional activity in the brain. The autoradiographic blood flow technique has since been improved further (Reivich et al., 1969; Sakurada et al., 1978) and nowadays, labeled iodoantipyrine is used as the standard blood flow tracer. The most remarkable development was the establishment of an autoradiographic technique using labeled deoxyglucose which allows local cerebral glucose utilization to be measured in-vivo (Sokoloff et al., 1977). In the past, the single tracer autoradiographic techniques have been applied to investigate the relationship between functional activity and local cerebral blood flow (see Reivich, 1972) on the one hand, and local cerebral glucose consumption (see Sokoloff, 1981), on the other. The interdependency between tissue perfusion and glucose metabolism, however, was estimated indirectly by linear correlation analysis of averaged regional flow and glucose utilization data derived from separate animal groups. In order to examine coupling between neuronal activity, local blood flow and local glucose metabolism in more detail all three parameters should be assessed in the same subject. This has become possible with the introduction of double tracer autoradiographic techniques for the simultaneous measurement of local cerebral blood flow and glucose consumption employing either 131I-iodoantipyrine (Mies et al., 1981A; 1981B) or 123I-iodoantipyrine (Lear et al., 1981) and 14C-deoxyglucose, respectively. More recently, a triple tracer autoradio-graphic technique has been developed which in addition to cerebral blood flow and glucose utilization allows local cerebral protein synthesis to be measured using 3H-labeled amino acids (Mies et al., 1983; 1986).


Cerebral Blood Flow Tissue Perfusion Cortical Spreading Depression Spreading Depression Double Tracer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günter Mies
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für experimentelle NeurologieMax-Planck-Institut für neurologische ForschungCologne 91Germany

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