Cerebral blood flow regulation is based on a variety of different mechanisms, of which the relative regulatory role remains largely unknown. The cerebral regulatory system expresses two regulatory properties: cerebral autoregulation and neurovascular coupling. Since partly the same mechanisms play a role in cerebral autoregulation and neurovascular coupling, this study aimed to develop a physiologically-based mathematical model of cerebral blood flow regulation combining these properties. A lumped parameter model of the P2 segment of the posterior cerebral artery and its distal vessels was constructed. Blood flow regulation is exerted at the arteriolar level by vascular smooth muscle and implements myogenic, shear stress based, neurogenic, and metabolic mechanisms. In eight healthy subjects, cerebral autoregulation and neurovascular coupling were challenged by squat-stand maneuvers and visual stimulation using a checkerboard pattern, respectively. Cerebral blood flow velocity was measured using transcranial Doppler, whereas blood pressure was measured by finger volume clamping. In seven subjects, the model proposed fits autoregulation and neurovascular coupling measurement data well. Myogenic regulation is found to dominate the autoregulatory response. Neurogenic regulation, although only implemented as a first-order mechanism, describes neurovascular coupling responses to a great extent. It is concluded that our single, integrated model of cerebral blood flow control may be used to identify the main mechanisms affecting cerebral blood flow regulation in individual subjects.
- cerebral blood flow regulation
- physiological model
- myogenic regulation
- neurogenic regulation
- visually evoked flow response
- Copyright © 2012, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology