• Anderson, Douglas (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The blood flow in the optic nerve head is normally autoregulated, little
affected by the level of intraocular pressure (IOP). Such regulation may
be achieved through response to tissue levels of oxygen and carbon
dioxide, which reflect the balance between local tissue metabolism and
the volume of local blood flow. Hypothetically in glaucoma this
regulation is faulty in the optic nerve head, permitting ischemic damage
when the circulation is challenged by elevation of IOP. Only a little is known of the local physiologic events by which
autoregulation is achieved, but nothing about how it may become faulty,
or how faulty autoregulation might be corrected. Vascular smooth muscle
of arteries and arterioles and precapillary sphincters have considerable
influence on distribution of blood flow to various tissue regions. We
hypothesize that capillaries may provide local fine tuning of blood flow,
at least in some tissues. If capillaries participate in local control of blood flow, it may be
achieved through pericytes, contractile cells whose function is not
known, found in the walls of capillaries, especially in the central
nervous system, including retina and optic nerve. In this project we
plan to study the contractile response of pericytes grown in cell culture
to metabolic signals that may permit them to participate in local control
of the blood flow. The signals to be studied first are changes in carbon
dioxide levels and the change in pH that accompanies changes in carbon
dioxide levels. Responses to be observed are cell contraction, changes
in intracellular pH, and changes in intracellular free calcium
Effective start/end date4/1/9311/30/97


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $168,696.00


  • Medicine(all)


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