Ovalbumin sensitization alters the ventilatory responses to chemical challenges in guinea pigs

Fadi Xu, Jianguo Zhuang, Tongrong Zhou, Lu Yuan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Patients with chronic bronchial asthma show a depressed ventilatory response to hypoxia (DVH), but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We tested whether DVH existed in ovalbumin (Ova)-treated guinea pigs, an established animal model of asthma. Twelve guinea pigs were exposed to Ova (1% in saline) or saline aerosol (control) for 5 min, 5 days/wk, for 2 wk. After completing aerosol exposure, the animals were anesthetized and exposed to systemic hypoxia. Ova treatment had no effects on animal body weight, baseline cardiorespiratory variables, or arterial blood O2 and CO2 tensions, but it attenuated the ventilatory response to hypoxia (10 breaths of pure N2) by 65% (P < 0.05). When the animals were subjected to intracarotid injections of sodium cyanide (20 μg) and doxapram (2 mg) to selectively stimulate carotid chemoreceptors, the ventilatory responses were reduced by 50% (P < 0.05) and 74% (P < 0.05), respectively. In contrast, Ova exposure failed to affect the ventilatory response to CO2 (7% CO2-21% unbalance N2 for 5 min; P > 0.05). Furthermore, the apneic response evoked by stimulating bronchopulmonary C fibers (PCFs) with right atrial injection of capsaicin (5 μg) was markedly increased in the Ova-sensitized group (5.02 ± 1.56 s), compared with the control group (1.82 ± 0.45 s; P < 0.05). These results suggest that Ova sensitization induces a DVH in guinea pigs, which probably results from an attenuation of the carotid chemoreceptor-mediated ventilatory excitation and an enhancement of the PCF-mediated ventilatory inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1782-1788
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Bronchopulmonary C fibers
  • Capsaicin
  • Carotid body
  • Hypoxia
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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