Cerebrovascular response to hypoxia in young vs aged rats.
Cerebrovascular responses of young and aged rats were tested to graded levels of hypoxia using a modification of the Levine ischemic-hypoxic rat model in which one carotid artery was ligated. Rats were anesthetized with 70% N2O, 30% O2 and cortical and subcortical cerebral blood flow (CBF) were measured with radioactive microspheres. CBF and cerebral cortical oxygen consumption (CMRO2) were measured under control conditions and during hypoxia with arterial oxygen content maintained at approximately 9, 5 and 3 ml . dl-1. CBF responses in cortical and subcortical tissues were similar between young and aged under control conditions and during moderate hypoxia (CaO2 = 9 ml . dl-1). Maximum cerebrovascular responses to severe hypoxia were greater in young than in aged rats and these trends were significant in both ligated and unligated cortical tissue (p less than 0.05). CMRO2 was maintained at control levels during moderate hypoxia but decreased significantly more in aged than in young rats when CaO2 was decreased to 3 ml . dl-1. These results suggest that baseline CBF and the sensitivity of cerebrovascular receptors to moderate hypoxia are similar in young vs aged rats but that maximum reactivity severe hypoxia is attenuated in aged subjects. CBF measured after one minute of hypoxia, before the induction of brain tissue acidosis, produced no significant change in the CBF response to hypoxia or in the difference between young and aged rats. Brain tissue pH changes do not appear to be the major factor for mediating CBF increases during hypoxia in young or aged rats, although it may interact with other mediators of the response.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association