Skin blood flow in the Wistar-Kyoto rat and the spontaneously hypertensive rat

Marc S. Rendell, Steven F. Mcintyre, John V. Terando, Stephen T. Kelly, David A. Finney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


1. 1. Using laser Doppler techniques in man, we have previously demonstrated differences in skin blood flow properties at sites with primarily nutritive (NUTR) perfusion, such as the elbow or knee, as compared to sites such as the finger pulp, with predominantly arteriovenous anastomotic (AVA) perfusion. 2. 2. Basal and heat stimulated flow is greater at AVA sites. In man, blood pressure changes are reflected primarily by changes at AVA rather than NUTR sites. 3. 3. These blood pressure induced changes affect the red blood cell velocity (VEL) component at AVA sites more than microvascular volume (VOL). 4. 4. Given these findings in man, we decided to compare skin blood flow properties in a suitable animal model. 5. 5. We chose the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) strains, in view of the marked difference in systemic blood pressure in these two related strains. 6. 6. Skin blood flow varied considerably at different skin sites in the rats. Skin sites with hair covering, on the back and at the base of the tail, showed low basal and heat stimulated blood flow. 7. 7. In contrast, the plantar surface of the paw behaved similarly to the finger or toe pulps in man, with 3-4-fold higher basal flow than the hair covered areas and a 7-8-fold rise with local heating to 44°C. 8. 8. Furthermore, there was a 25% greater blood flow at the plantar paw surface in the SHR rats as compared to the WKY rats, corresponding to the 25% higher systemic blood pressure in these animals. 9. 9. The heat induced increase in flow at the plantar surface of the paw was primarily a result of a marked increase in VEL rather than VOL. 10. 10. The higher flow at this site in SHR as compared to WKY rats was likewise ascribable to an increase in VEL, VOL being equivalent in the two strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology


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