The transpulmonary pressures (Ptp values) at which airway closure occurred during maximal stimulation with methacholine were compared in 10 mature and 9 immature rabbit lungs by using an alveolar capsule technique to assess airway closure. After maximal constriction, airway opening and alveolar capsule pressures were recorded during small volume oscillations as Ptp was lowered from 12 to 4 cmH2O. At each Ptp, the proportion of alveolar capsules indicating airway closure was greater for the immature than for the mature lungs (P < 0.025). At Ptp of 4 cmH2O, only 20% of alveolar capsules indicated airway closure in the mature lungs in contrast to 85% indicating closure in the immature lungs (P < 0.001). The in vitro sensitivity of tracheal smooth muscle to acetylcholine and histamine was greater in tissues from immature than from mature rabbits. We conclude that the more frequent airway closure observed in immature rabbits could reflect maturational differences in the structure of the bronchi or lung parenchyma or differences in the coupling between the parenchyma and the airways.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Physiology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)