Annals of biomedical engineering

Distribution of capillary transit times in isolated lungs of oxygen-tolerant rats.

PMID 20552277


Rats pre-exposed to 85% O₂ for 5-7 days tolerate the otherwise lethal effects of 100% O₂. The objective was to evaluate the effect of rat exposure to 85% O₂ for 7 days on lung capillary mean transit time t(c) and distribution of capillary transit times (h(c)(t)). This information is important for subsequent evaluation of the effect of this hyperoxia model on the redox metabolic functions of the pulmonary capillary endothelium. The venous concentration vs. time outflow curves of fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled dextran (FITC-dex), an intravascular indicator, and coenzyme Q₁ hydroquinone (CoQ₁H₂), a compound which rapidly equilibrates between blood and tissue on passage through the pulmonary circulation, were measured following their bolus injection into the pulmonary artery of isolated perfused lungs from rats exposed to room air (normoxic) or 85% O₂ for 7 days (hyperoxic). The moments (mean transit time and variance) of the measured FITC-dex and CoQ₁H₂ outflow curves were determined for each lung, and were then used in a mathematical model [Audi et al. J. Appl. Physiol. 77: 332-351, 1994] to estimate t(c) and the relative dispersion (RD(c)) of h (c)(t). Data analysis reveals that exposure to hyperoxia decreases lung t(c) by 42% and increases RD(c), a measure h(c)(t) heterogeneity, by 40%.