Microcirculation-mediated preconditioning and intracellular hypothermia
Mamais, Ioannis A.
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Microcirculation is a network of perfused capillaries that connects macrocirculation with the cells. Although research has provided insight into microcirculatory blood flow, our knowledge remains limited. In this article, we propose a new role of microcirculation in physiological and shock states. In healthy individuals, microcirculation maintains cellular homeostasis via preconditioning. When blood volume decreases, the ensuing microcirculatory changes result in heterogeneity of perfusion and tissue oxygenation. Initially, this is partly compensated by the preserved autoregulation and the increase in the metabolism rate of cells, but at later stages, the loss of autoregulation activates the cascade of intracellular hypothermia.