3D optogenetic control of arteriole diameter in vivo

Philip J. O'herron, David A. Hartmann, Kun Xie, Prakash Kara, Andy Y. Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Modulation of brain arteriole diameter is critical for maintaining cerebral blood pressure and controlling regional hyperemia during neural activity. However, studies of hemodynamic function in health and disease have lacked a method to control arteriole diameter independently with high spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we describe an all-optical approach to manipulate and monitor brain arteriole contractility in mice in three dimensions using combined in vivo two-photon optogenetics and imaging. The expression of the red-shifted excitatory opsin, ReaChR, in vascular smooth muscle cells enabled rapid and repeated vasoconstriction controlled by brief light pulses. Two-photon activation of ReaChR using a spatial light modulator produced highly localized constrictions when targeted to individual arterioles within the neocortex. We demonstrate the utility of this method for examining arteriole contractile dynamics and creating transient focal blood flow reductions. Additionally, we show that optogenetic constriction can be used to reshape vasodilatory responses to sensory stimulation, providing a valuable tool to dissociate blood flow changes from neural activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere72802
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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© 2022, O', O'Herron et al.


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