Arterial vasomotion: effect of flow and evidence of nonlinear dynamics
Vasomotion has been studied on segments of rat mesenteric and femoral arteries perfused in vitro. We have investigated 1) the effect of perfusion flow on the characteristics of vasomotion and 2) the nature and patterns of vasomotion. We have found that perfusion flow is not a control parameter that contributes to the genesis of vasomotion but that it affects, in most cases only slightly, the frequency and amplitude of vasomotion. We have found evidence that vasomotion is low-dimensional chaotic. The correlation dimension ranged between 2 and 4, and the average Lyapunov's coefficient was approximately 0.1. A great variety of vasomotion patterns was observed with features that are typical of nonlinear deterministic systems: regular and irregular vasomotion, quasiperiodicity, period doubling and higher-order periods, intermittency, mixed modes, and bursting activity. Vasomotion patterns appeared occasionally to be highly sensitive to perturbations in perfusion flow, which also supported the existence of nonlinear dynamics. Finally, entrainment (phase locking) was observed when arteries were perfused with oscillatory flow with frequency in the neighborhood of the frequency of vasomotion.