Renal autoregulation dynamics originating from the myogenic response (MR) and tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) can synchronize over large regions of the kidney surface, likely through gap junction-mediated electrotonic conduction and reflecting distributed operation of autoregulation. We tested the hypotheses that inhibition of gap junctions reduces spatial synchronization of autoregulation dynamics, abrogates spatial and temporal smoothing of renal perfusion, and impairs renal autoregulation. In male Long-Evans rats, we infused the gap junction inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) or the related glycyrrhizic acid (GZA) that does not block gap junctions into the renal artery and monitored renal blood flow (RBF) and surface perfusion by laser speckle contrast imaging. Neither CBX nor GZA altered RBF or mean surface perfusion. CBX preferentially increased spatial and temporal variation in the distribution of surface perfusion, increased spatial variation in the operating frequencies of the MR and TGF, and reduced phase coherence of TGF and increased its dispersion. CBX, but not GZA, impaired dynamic and steady-state autoregulation. Separately, infusion of the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 paralyzed smooth muscle, grossly impaired dynamic autoregulation, and monotonically increased spatial variation of surface perfusion. These data suggest CBX inhibited gap junction communication, which in turn reduced the ability of TGF to synchronize among groups of nephrons. The results indicate that impaired autoregulation resulted from degraded synchronization, rather than the reverse. We show that network behavior in the renal vasculature is necessary for effective RBF autoregulation.
- laser speckle contrast imaging
- blood flow
- myogenic response
- tubuloglomerular feedback
- phase synchronization
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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