Dynamic Synchrotron Imaging of Diabetic Rat Coronary Microcirculation In Vivo
Objective—In diabetes, long-term micro- and macrovascular damage often underlies the functional decline in the cardiovascular system. However, it remains unclear whether early-stage diabetes is associated with in vivo functional impairment in the coronary microvasculature. Synchrotron imaging allows us to detect and quantify regional differences in resistance microvessel caliber in vivo, even under conditions of high heart rate.
Methods and Results—Synchrotron cine-angiograms of the coronary vasculature were recorded using anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats 3 weeks after treatment with vehicle or streptozotocin (diabetic). In the early diabetic state, in the presence of nitric oxide and prostacyclin , vessel diameters were smaller (P<0.01) and endothelium-dependent vessel recruitment was already depressed (P<0.05). Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilatory responses in individual coronary vessels were not different in vivo. Inhibition of NO and PGI2 production in diabetes uncovered early localized impairment in dilation. Diabetic animals displayed focal stenoses and segmental constrictions during nitric oxide synthase/cyclooxygenase blockade, which persisted during acetylcholine infusion (P<0.05), and a strong trend toward loss of visible microvessels.
Conclusion—Synchrotron imaging provides a novel method to investigate coronary microvascular function in vivo at all levels of the arterial tree. Furthermore, we have shown that early-stage diabetes is associated with localized coronary microvascular endothelial dysfunction.
- Received August 21, 2011.
- Accepted October 24, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.