Cardiopulmonary effects of short-term nitrogen dioxide exposure in conscious sheep

William M. Abraham, Matthew Welker, William Oliver, Maryann Mingle, Adolph J. Januszkiewicz, Adam Wanner, Marvin A. Sackner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We used conscious sheep to (a) evaluate the airway effects of 2-hr exposures to 7.5 and 15 ppm NO2, and (b) to measure pulmonary hemodynamics after a 4-hr exposure to 15 ppm NO2. Bronchial reactivity to aerosolized carbachol (BR), tracheal mucous velocity (TMV), and mechanics of breathing were determined to assess whether NO2 induced airway effects immediately and 24 hr after exposure. The hemodynamic measurements included arterial blood gases, estimates of diffusing capacity, combined capillary blood and tissue volume, cardiac output, and pulmonary vascular pressures. In 10 sheep 7.5 ppm NO2 did not significantly alter mean pulmonary resistance prior to carbachol challenge (Rpul), BR, or TMV. However, in 5 of these 10 animals, enhanced BR was apparent immediately after the exposure. In 10 animals, 15 ppm NO2 did not produce significant changes in mean Rpul or BR, although in 7 animals there was a mean increase of 113% in Rpul immediately after the exposure, while BR was evident in 2 other sheep. TMV was, however, significantly depressed immediately after this exposure. In six sheep, who breathed 15 ppm NO2 for 4 hr, Rpul was significantly elevated immediately after the exposure. In the same animals, there were no changes in arterial blood gases, cardiac output, pulmonary vascular pressures, systemic pressure, diffusing capacity, and combined pulmonary tissue plus capillary blood volume. We conclude that in conscious sheep (a) exposures to 7.5 and 15 ppm NO2 for 2 hr may induce BR or elevations in Rpul, (b) exposure to 15 ppm NO2 for 2 hr depresses TMV, while exposure to 7.5 ppm NO2 for 2 hr has no effect on TMV, and (c) 15 ppm NO2 for 4 hr has no effects on pulmonary hemodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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