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Effects of carotid body hypocapnia during ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia. J Appl Physiol (1985) 1997 Jan;82(1):118-24 PMID: 9029206

Pubmed ID



Hypoxic ventilatory sensitivity is increased during ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia (VAH) in awake goats, resulting in a time-dependent increase in expired ventilation (VE). The objectives of this study were to determine whether the increased carotid body (CB) hypoxic sensitivity is dependent on the level of CB CO2 and whether the CB CO2 gain is changed during VAH. Studies were carried out in adult goats with CB blood gases controlled by an extracorporeal circuit while systemic (central nervous system) blood gases were regulated independently by the level of inhaled gases. Acute VE responses to CB hypoxia (CB PO2 40 Torr) and CB hypercapnia (CB PCO2 50 and 60 Torr) were measured while systemic normoxia and isocapnia were maintained. CB PO2 was then lowered to 40 Torr for 4 h while the systemic blood gases were kept normoxic and normocapnic. During the 4-h CB hypoxia, VE increased in a time-dependent manner. Thirty minutes after return to normoxia, the ventilatory response to CB hypoxia was significantly increased compared with the initial response. The slope of the CB CO2 response was also elevated after VAH. An additional group of goats (n = 7) was studied with a similar protocol, except that CB PCO2 was lowered throughout the 4-h CB hypoxic exposure to prevent reflex hyperventilation. CB PCO2 was progressively lowered throughout the 4-h CB hypoxic period to maintain VE at the control level. After the 4-h CB hypoxic exposure, the ventilatory response to hypoxia was also significantly elevated. However, the slope of the CB CO2 response was not elevated after the 4-h hypoxic exposure. These results suggest that CB sensitivity to both O2 and CO2 is increased after 4 h of CB hypoxia with systemic isocapnia. The increase in CB hypoxic sensitivity is not dependent on the level of CB CO2 maintained during the 4-h hypoxic period.

Author List

Dwinell MR, Janssen PL, Pizarro J, Bisgard GE


Melinda R. Dwinell PhD Center Associate Director, Associate Professor in the Physiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0031019367   13 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Carotid Body
Pulmonary Ventilation
jenkins-FCD Prod-300 626508253d14e4184314fb9f66322a03a5906796