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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparative age-related acute and chronic pulmonary oxygen tolerance in rats.

Young rats are thought to be more tolerant to hyperoxia. We propose that this may not be proven and depends on how tolerance is defined. We assessed oxygen tolerance in Sprague-Dawley rats from birth to maturity by comparing survival, lung water, antioxidant enzyme activity, lung morphometrics, heart weight, and arterial blood gases in newborn and 27-, 44-, 48-, and 96-day-old rats exposed to 100% O2 or room air for 22 days. Some 96-day-old rats (rest group) received only 50% O2 between 48 and 72 h. Mortality after 5 days of O2 was 0% in newborn and 27-day-old rats and 27% in 44-day-old rats but was > 80% in 48- and 96-day-old rats. Between 5 and 22 days, the death rate was 100% in newborns, 25% in 27-day-old rats, and 0% in 44- to 96-day-old rats. Death occurred when lung water was > 84% except in newborns, which tolerated high lung water for the first 7 days. In chronically exposed 44- and 96-day-old rats, lung water returned to normal. Enzyme activity increased with O2 at all ages but did not relate to survival. In 96-day-old rats, the initial increase was suppressed on day 3. All chronically O2-exposed rats had minimal nonvascular parenchymal changes but developed right ventricular hypertrophy and increased alveolar ductal artery muscularization and lost alveolar capillaries. The most mature rats were least affected. In O2, there was pulmonary insufficiency the first 3 days, followed by recovery, and later hypercarbia and decreased arterial PO2. We conclude that young rats, 0-44 days old, are more O2 tolerant for 5 days. More mature animals, surviving 5 days, are more tolerant to chronic exposure.[1]


  1. Comparative age-related acute and chronic pulmonary oxygen tolerance in rats. Laudert, S., Thibeault, D.W., Rezaiekhaligh, M.M., Mabry, S.M., Huntrakoon, M. J. Appl. Physiol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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