Regulation of cerebral blood flow Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Hippocampus
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Synapses


  • The control of cerebral blood flow is complex, and only beginning to be elucidated. Studies have identified three key regulatory paradigms. The first is cerebral pressure autoregulation, which maintains a constant flow in the face of changing cerebral perfusion pressure. Flow-metabolism coupling refers to the brains ability to vary blood flow to match metabolic activity. An extensive arborization of perivascular nerves also serves to modulate cerebral blood flow, so-called neurogenic regulation. Central to these three paradigms are two cell types: endothelium and astrocytes. The endothelium produces several vasoactive factors that are germane to the regulation of cerebral blood flow: nitric oxide, endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization factor, the eicosanoids, and the endothelins. Astrocytic foot processes directly abut the blood vessels, and play a key role in regulation of cerebral blood flow. Lastly, new research has been investigating cell-cell communication at the microvascular level. Several lines of evidence point to the ability of the larger proximal vessels to coordinate vasomotor responses downstream.

publication date

  • January 2011



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3144666

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1155/2011/823525

PubMed ID

  • 21808738

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 823525


  • 2011