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Characterisation of the ventilatory response to hypoxia in a model of transgenic anemic mice

Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.resp.2005.03.011
  • Transgenic Mice
  • Anemia
  • Hypoxic Ventilatory Response
  • Oxygen Consumption


Abstract Both polycythemia and the increase in hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) are considered as important factors of acclimatization to hypoxia. The objective of this study was to characterise the ventilation pattern at different inspired oxygen fraction in a model of chronic anemic mice. These mice have a targeted disruption in the 5′ untranslated region of the Epo gene that reduces Epo expression such that the homozygous animal is severely anemic. Ventilation in normoxia in Epo-TAg h mice was significantly greater than in wild type, and the difference was mainly due to a higher tidal volume. HVR was higher in Epo-TAg h mice at every FIO 2 suggesting a higher chemosensitivity. Resting oxygen consumption was maintained in anemic mice. Maximal oxygen consumption was 30% lower while hemoglobin was 60% lower in anemic mice compared to wild type. This small decrease in maximal oxygen consumption is probably due a greater cardiac output and/or a better tissue oxygen extraction and would allow these anemic mice to acclimatize to hypoxia in spite of low oxygen carrying capacity. In conclusion, Epo-TAg h anemic mice showed increased ventilation and hypoxic ventilatory response. However, whether these adaptations will contribute to acclimatization in chronic hypoxia remains to be determined.

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