AbstractOBJECTIVES:An in vivo closed spinal window technique in rats was designed for observing the spinal microcirculation, such as the change of vessel diameter, leukocyte adhesion, and red blood cell (RBC) velocity, which has been very rarely examined in vivo in the spinal cord.METHODS:We made a very precise closed spinal window with a laminectomy at the C5 level using a dental acrylic resin and a cover glass (7 mm in diameter). Through this closed window, the dorsal surface of the rat cervical cord was observed with a video microscope, and the fluorescent images of rhodamine 6G-labeled leukocytes and fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled RBCs were recorded and analyzed with a silicon-intensified target tube camera (30 frames/s) and an image-intensified high-speed video camera system (1000 frames/s).RESULTS:During C02 inhalation, the pial arterioles responded with vasodilation of 12.4 ± 10.4% (P < 0.01) in 11 arterioles of seven rats. The adhering leukocytes significantly increased in 41 venular segments of seven rats after superfusion of the neutrophil chemoattractant, N-formyl-methionine-leucine-phenylalanine solution for 15 minutes (P < 0.001) but not after superfusion of only artificial cerebrospinal fluid for 15 minutes. During these experiments, no adhering leukocyte was seen in the pial arterioles. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled RBCs look like shooting stars in arterioles with silicon-intensified target tube camera processing at 30 frames per second, but individual fluorescein isotbiocyanate-labeled RBCs could be recognized frame by frame with the image-intensified high-speed video camera system. In 13 arterioles of four rats, the RBC velocity was 5.3 ± 2.0 mm per second.CONCLUSION:This closed spinal window technique in rats is available and applicable for the study of the spinal microcirculation, such as the pathophysiology of a secondary injury.
Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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