A model for investigating the control of muscle blood flow: the masseteric artery in conscious rabbits

S Roatta, Mazher Mohammed, M Turturici, L Milano, M Passatore

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The complex interplay of neural, metabolic, myogenic and mechanical mechanisms that regulate blood flow in skeletal muscle (MBF) is still incompletely understood. For the first time, a method is presented for high timeresolution recording of MBF from a purely muscular artery in physiological conditions. Ultrasound perivascular flow probes were implanted (n = 15) mono-or bilaterally around the masseteric branch of the facial artery in nine rabbits and tested up to 16 days after implant. Reliable and stable recordings were achieved in 50% of implants. Blood flow was observed to increase from a resting level of 0.2-0.3 ml min-1 up to 4.0-6.0 ml min-1 during spontaneous masticatory activity. In addition, within single masticatory cycles marked back flow transients could be observed (peak flow = -10 ml min -1) during powerful masticatory strokes but not during mild mastication. The possibility of (1) surgically removing the sympathetic supply to the relevant vascular bed and of (2) bilaterally monitoring the perfusion of masseter muscles thus allowing to use one side as control side for different types of interventions makes this model a useful tool for disentangling the different mechanisms involved in the control of MBF.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)N71-N77
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhysiological Measurement
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


    • Animal model
    • Arterial blood flow
    • Conscious animal
    • Haemodynamics
    • Hyperaemia
    • Masseter muscle
    • Muscle blood flow
    • Ultrasound
    • Vascular control


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