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Tracheal vascular response to hypertonic and hypotonic solutions

Tracheal vascular response to hypertonic and hypotonic solutions

Journal of Applied Physiology 76(6): 2275-2280

One of the major roles of the upper respiratory mucosa is to humidify inspired air. This function requires the coordinated activity of respiratory epithelium and mucosal vasculature. It has been difficult to study this relationship in vivo. In the present study, we investigated the effects of osmolarity on the vessel diameter of mucosal vessels via a specially constructed chamber that allows direct visualization of the rat trachea microvasculature. With use of an anesthetized and instrumented rat preparation, the luminal surface of the dorsal wall of the trachea was superfused with physiological solutions at 37 degrees C. The osmolarities were varied by removing or adding NaCl or mannitol (200, 290, and 500 mosM). The mucosal vessels dilated when the airway surface was superfused with hypertonic solutions and constricted when superfused with hypotonic solution. The largest changes occurred in the arterioles (51 +/- 5.6 microns diam), which constricted by 10 +/- 2.18 microns (P = 0.0001) when exposed to a 200 mosM solution and dilated by 11 +/- 1.55 microns (P = 0.0001) when exposed to a 500 mosM NaCl-enriched solution. Smaller changes of similar pattern were seen in venules. The changes in vessel diameter were readily reversible upon replacement of the hypo- or hypertonic solutions by an isotonic solution. We conclude that increase or decrease of solution osmolarity on the epithelial surface of the trachea can regulate diameter of mucosal blood vessels.

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Accession: 018188373

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PMID: 7928847

DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1994.76.6.2275

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