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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Chronic cocaine disrupts neurovascular networks and cerebral function: optical imaging studies in rodents
Author(s): Qiujia Zhang; Jiang You; Nora D. Volkow; Jeonghun Choi; Wei Yin; Wei Wang; Yingtian Pan; Congwu Du

Paper Abstract

Cocaine abuse can lead to cerebral strokes and hemorrhages secondary to cocaine’s cerebrovascular effects, which are poorly understood. We assessed cocaine’s effects on cerebrovascular anatomy and function in the somatosensory cortex of the rat’s brain. Optical coherence tomography was used for in vivo imaging of three-dimensional cerebral blood flow (CBF) networks and to quantify CBF velocities (CBFv), and multiwavelength laser-speckle-imaging was used to simultaneously measure changes in CBFv, oxygenated (Δ[HbO2]) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (Δ[HbR]) concentrations prior to and after an acute cocaine challenge in chronically cocaine exposed rats. Immunofluorescence techniques on brain slices were used to quantify microvasculature density and levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). After chronic cocaine (2 and 4 weeks), CBFv in small vessels decreased, whereas vasculature density and VEGF levels increased. Acute cocaine further reduced CBFv and decreased Δ[HbO2] and this decline was larger and longer lasting in 4 weeks than 2 weeks cocaine-exposed rats, which indicates that risk for ischemia is heightened during intoxication and that it increases with chronic exposures. These results provide evidence of cocaine-induced angiogenesis in cortex. The CBF reduction after chronic cocaine exposure, despite the increases in vessel density, indicate that angiogenesis was insufficient to compensate for cocaine-induced disruption of cerebrovascular function.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 February 2016
PDF: 12 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 21(2) 026006 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.21.2.026006
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 21, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Qiujia Zhang, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Jiang You, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Nora D. Volkow, National Institutes of Health (United States)
Jeonghun Choi, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Wei Yin, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Wei Wang, Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Yingtian Pan, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Congwu Du, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)

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