Ex Vivo Pressurized Hippocampal Capillary-Parenchymal Arteriole Preparation for Functional Study

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


From subtle behavioral alterations to late-stage dementia, vascular cognitive impairment typically develops following cerebral ischemia. Stroke and cardiac arrest are remarkably sexually dimorphic diseases, and both induce cerebral ischemia. However, progress in understanding the vascular cognitive impairment, and then developing sex-specific treatments, has been partly limited by challenges in investigating the brain microcirculation from mouse models in functional studies. Here, we present an approach to examine the capillary-to-arteriole signaling in an ex vivo hippocampal capillary-parenchymal arteriole (HiCaPA) preparation from mouse brain. We describe how to isolate, cannulate, and pressurize the microcirculation to measure arteriolar diameter in response to capillary stimulation. We show which appropriate functional controls can be used to validate the HiCaPA preparation integrity and display typical results, including testing potassium as a neurovascular coupling agent and the effect of the recently characterized inhibitor of the Kir2 inward rectifying potassium channel family, ML133. Further, we compare the responses in preparations obtained from male and female mice. While these data reflect functional investigations, our approach can also be used in molecular biology, immunochemistry, and electrophysiology studies.