Hypocapnia-dependent facilitation of augmented breaths: observations in awake vs. anesthetized rats.

Research paper by J J Moore, P P Haouzi, A A Van de Louw, H J HJ Bell

Indexed on: 09 Nov '11Published on: 09 Nov '11Published in: Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology


We investigated whether commonly used injectable laboratory anesthetics alter the regulation of augmented breaths (ABs) in different respiratory backgrounds. Male rats were studied on three separate experimental days, receiving one of three injections in randomized order: ethyl carbamate ('urethane'; 1.2mgkg(-1)), ketamine/xylazine (ket/xyl; 80/10mgkg(-1)), or normal saline. Following each of the three interventions, breathing was monitored during 15min exposures to normoxia (room air), hypoxia (10% O(2)) and hypoxia+CO(2) (10% O(2), 5% CO(2)). Urethane anesthesia completely eliminated ABs from the breathing rhythm in room air conditions (p<0.001), and decreased the hypocapnia-dependent component of this response (p<0.001). ket/xyl left the normal incidence of ABs in room air breathing intact but significantly suppressed the hypoxia-induced facilitation of ABs (p=0.0015). These results provide the first clear evidence that laboratory anesthesia can profoundly alter the regulation of ABs including the hypocapnia-dependent component of their facilitation.