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Archives of toxicology

Computer assisted recognition and quantitation of the effects of airborne chemicals acting at different areas of the respiratory tract in mice.


PMID 7802589

Abstract

The pattern and timing of a normal breath in unanesthetized mice was analyzed from measurement of inspiratory and expiratory airflows (VI and VE). Airflow was measured via a differential pressure transducer, attached to a pneumotachograph, which itself was attached to a body plethysmograph into which a mouse was placed. The analog voltage from the differential pressure transducer was digitized and stored for analysis on a microcomputer. Criteria were developed to classify each breath as normal (N) or belonging into one of seven abnormal categories. The abnormal categories were arrived at by computer analysis, recognizing specific modifications of the normal pattern into patterns of: sensory irritation of the upper respiratory tract (S), airflow limitation within the conducting airways of the lungs (A) or pulmonary irritation at the alveolar level (P). Combinations of these effects, i.e., S+A, P+A, P+S and P+S+A were also recognized. Computer analysis of each breath also permitted quantitative evaluation of the degree of S, A or P abnormalities. To induce each type of effect we used inhalation exposures to 2-chlorobenzylchloride, carbamylcholine or propranolol. We propose that this approach will permit rapid evaluation of the possible effects of airborne chemicals at three levels of the respiratory tract, with the classification of the type of effect easily obtained in an objective way using well defined criteria, followed by quantitation of the degree of each effect.

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