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Intravital intestinal videomicroscopy: techniques and experiences


, : Intravital intestinal videomicroscopy: techniques and experiences. Microsurgery 25(4): 247-257

Intravital videomicroscopy (IVM) of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a sophisticated and powerful technique to directly observe the neurologically intact microvasculature of rats in naive and pathological conditions. We combine IVM with other techniques (i.e., vascular ring tension analysis and colorimetric microsphere determination of whole organ blood flow) to develop a strategy for the systematic analysis of the regulation of GI blood flow in healthy animals and in models of systemic sepsis and resuscitated hemorrhagic shock. We also study the molecular biology of the GI tract (enzyme- or radio-linked immunosorbent assays, fluorescent Greiss assay, and immunoblots) to correlate expression and levels of vascular mediators in tissue and arterial, venous, and portal blood with functional activity of the GI microvascular tree. When combined, these techniques develop a picture of gut pathophysiology at the level of the endothelium, vascular smooth muscle cells, and blood cells in the microcirculation. Our work led us to the general hypothesis that altered microcirculatory function in disease states lies primarily at the level of the interface between vascular and tissue physiology, i.e., the endothelial cell. This review focuses on methods and techniques for studying microvascular function, and concludes with focused reviews of pertinent findings. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

US$19.90

PMID: 15934043

DOI: 10.1002/micr.20120


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