Research Papers: Imaging

Chronic cocaine disrupts neurovascular networks and cerebral function: optical imaging studies in rodents

[+] Author Affiliations
Qiujia Zhang

Stony Brook University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook, New York 11794, United States

Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Department of Neurology, Wuhan 430030, China

Jiang You, Jeonghun Choi, Wei Yin, Yingtian Pan, Congwu Du

Stony Brook University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook, New York 11794, United States

Nora D. Volkow

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20857, United States

Wei Wang

Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Department of Neurology, Wuhan 430030, China

J. Biomed. Opt. 21(2), 026006 (Feb 11, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JBO.21.2.026006
History: Received October 2, 2015; Accepted January 14, 2016
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Abstract.  Cocaine abuse can lead to cerebral strokes and hemorrhages secondary to cocaine’s cerebrovascular effects, which are poorly understood. We assessed cocaine’s effects on cerebrovascular anatomy and function in the somatosensory cortex of the rat’s brain. Optical coherence tomography was used for in vivo imaging of three-dimensional cerebral blood flow (CBF) networks and to quantify CBF velocities (CBFv), and multiwavelength laser-speckle-imaging was used to simultaneously measure changes in CBFv, oxygenated (Δ[HbO2]) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (Δ[HbR]) concentrations prior to and after an acute cocaine challenge in chronically cocaine exposed rats. Immunofluorescence techniques on brain slices were used to quantify microvasculature density and levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). After chronic cocaine (2 and 4 weeks), CBFv in small vessels decreased, whereas vasculature density and VEGF levels increased. Acute cocaine further reduced CBFv and decreased Δ[HbO2] and this decline was larger and longer lasting in 4 weeks than 2 weeks cocaine-exposed rats, which indicates that risk for ischemia is heightened during intoxication and that it increases with chronic exposures. These results provide evidence of cocaine-induced angiogenesis in cortex. The CBF reduction after chronic cocaine exposure, despite the increases in vessel density, indicate that angiogenesis was insufficient to compensate for cocaine-induced disruption of cerebrovascular function.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Qiujia Zhang ; Jiang You ; Nora D. Volkow ; Jeonghun Choi ; Wei Yin, et al.
"Chronic cocaine disrupts neurovascular networks and cerebral function: optical imaging studies in rodents", J. Biomed. Opt. 21(2), 026006 (Feb 11, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.21.2.026006


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