Recent studies show that acute and chronic hyperglycemia cause a diffuse decrease in regional cerebral blood flow and that chronic hyperglycemia decreases the brain L-glucose space. Since these changes can be caused by a decreased density of perfused brain capillaries, we used 30 adult male Wistar rats to study the effect of acute and chronic hyperglycemia on 1) the brain intravascular space using radioiodinated albumin, 2) the anatomic density of brain capillaries using alkaline phosphatase histochemistry, and 3) the fraction of brain capillaries that are perfused using the fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran method. Our results indicate that acute and chronic hyperglycemia do not affect the brain intravascular space nor the anatomic density of brain capillaries. Also, there were no differences in capillary recruitment among normogly-cemic, acutely hyperglycemic, and chronically hyperglycemic rats. These results suggest that the shrinkage of the brain L-glucose space in chronic hyperglycemia is more likely due to changes in the blood—brain barrier permeability to L-glucose.
- Blood-brain barrier