Glial and neuronal control of brain blood flow.
Attwell D., Buchan AM., Charpak S., Lauritzen M., Macvicar BA., Newman EA.
Blood flow in the brain is regulated by neurons and astrocytes. Knowledge of how these cells control blood flow is crucial for understanding how neural computation is powered, for interpreting functional imaging scans of brains, and for developing treatments for neurological disorders. It is now recognized that neurotransmitter-mediated signalling has a key role in regulating cerebral blood flow, that much of this control is mediated by astrocytes, that oxygen modulates blood flow regulation, and that blood flow may be controlled by capillaries as well as by arterioles. These conceptual shifts in our understanding of cerebral blood flow control have important implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches.