Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Relative organ blood flow in rats exposed to intermittent high altitude hypoxia

  • 43 Accesses

  • 14 Citations


Circulating blood volume, cardiac output and relative organ perfusion changes were studied, using the Sapirstein method of86Rb tissue uptake, in male 75-day-old rats exposed to intermittent high altitude hypoxia (gradually up to 7000 m, 4 h daily, 5 days a week; the total number of exposures was 24).

Intermittent hypobaric exposure caused a significant rise of the erythrocyte volume, whereas the plasma volume remained unchanged. The relative perfusion of the left and particularly of the right ventricular myocardium, as well as of the spleen, liver, lung, small intestine and skeletal muscle, was significantly higher. The cardiac output determined in other experimental animals similarly treated was significantly higher after 24 exposures to the intermittent high altitude hypoxia. We suggest that these changes are triggered by tissue hypoxia and a greater blood flow demand.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Altland, P. D., Highman, B.: Effects of polycythemia and altitude hypoxia on rat heart and exercise tolearance. Amer. J. Physiol.221, 388–393 (1971)

  2. Blandy, J. P., Kemp, L. A., Ritchie, H. D., Sear, R.: The distribution of86Rb and134Cs in some tissues of the dog after intravenous injection with special reference to renal uptake. J. Physiol. (Lond.)166, 46–47 (1963)

  3. Blum, R. L., Alpern, H., Jaffe, H., Lang, T. W., Corday, E.: Determination of interarterial coronary anastomosis by radioactive spherules. Effect of coronary occlusion and hypoxemia. Amer. Heart J.79, 244–249 (1970)

  4. Dávid, M. A., Czernay, L., Lászlo, F. A., Kovács, K.: Hypophysae blood flow in rats after destruction of the pituitary stalk. Endocrinology77, 183–187 (1965)

  5. Dean, W. D., Vogel, J. A., Bishop, G. W., Frics, L. A., Bischoff, M. B., Bucci, T. J.: Species comparison of cardiac hypertrophy in animals chronically exposed to high altitude (Abstract). Fed. Proc.27 28 (1968)

  6. Delaney, J. P., Custer, J.: Gastrointestinal blood flow in dog. Circulat. Res.17, 394–402 (1965)

  7. Friedman, J. J.:86Rb extraction as an indicator of capillary flow. Circulat. Res.28–29, (Suppl. I), 15–20 (1971)

  8. Fulton, R. M., Hutchinson, E. C., Jones, A. M.: Ventricular weight in cardiac hypertrophy. Brit. Heart J.14, 413–420 (1952)

  9. Gömöri, P., Kovách, A. G. B., Takács, L., Földi, M., Szabo, G., Nagy, Z., Wiltner, W.: Renal blood flow in arterial hypoxia. Acta med. Acad. Sci. hung.16, 37–42 (1960)

  10. Grover, R. F., Alexander, J. K.: Cardiac performance and the coronary circulation of man in chronic hypoxia. Cardiology56, 197–206 (1972)

  11. Hamilton, F. W., Moore, J. W., Kinsman, J. M., Spurling, R. G.: Simultancous determination of the pulmonary and systemic circulating times in man and of figure related to the cardiac output. Amer. J. Physiol.84, 338–344 (1928)

  12. Hultgren, H. N.: Reduction of systemic arterial blood pressure at high altitude. In: Hypoxia, high altitude and the heart, pp. 49–55. Advances in cardiology, Vol. 5. Basel: Karger 1970

  13. Hurtado, A.: Some clinical aspects of life at high altitudes. Ann. intern. Med.53, 247–258 (1960)

  14. Kasalický, J.: Systemic hemodynamic changes in rabbits after experimental pulmonary embolization. Cor Vasa10, 156–164 (1968)

  15. Kasalický, J.: Systemic haemodynamic changes due to pulmonary embolization in rabbits as influenced by trimethaphancamsylate. Cardiovasc. Res.6, 176–180 (1972)

  16. Kerr, A., Diasio, R. B., Bommer, W. J.: Effect of altitude (hypoxia) on coronary artery size in the white rat. Amer. Heart. J.69, 84 (1965)

  17. Kübler, W., Spiekermann, P. G.: Regulation of glycolysis in the ischemic and the anoxic myocardium. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol.1, 351–377 (1970)

  18. Lee, J. C., Halloran, K. H., Taylor, J. F. N., Downing, S. E.: Coronary flow and myocardial metabolism in newborn lambs: effects of hypoxia and acidemia. Amer. J. Physiol.224, 1381–1387 (1973)

  19. McGrath, J., Procházka, J., Pelouch, V., Oŝťádal, B.: Physiological responses of rats to intermittent high altitude stress: effect of age. J. appl. Physiol.34, 289–293 (1973)

  20. McGrath, J., Oŝťádal, B., Procházka, J., Wachtlová, M., Rychterová, V.: Experimental cardiac necrosis in hypobaric and anaemic hypoxia. J. appl. Physiol.39, 205–208 (1975)

  21. Maher, J. T., Manchanda, S. C., Cymerman, A., Wolfe, D. L., Hartley, L. H.: Cardiovascular responsiveness to beta-adrenergic stimulation and blockade in chronic hypoxia. Amer. J. Physiol.228, 477–481 (1975)

  22. Meerson, F. Z., Gomazkov, O. A., Schimkovich, M. V.: Adaptation to high altitude hypoxia as a factor preventing development of myocardial ischemic necrosis. Amer. J. Cardiol.31, 30–34 (1973)

  23. Moret, P. R.: Circulation coronaire et altérations métaboliques myocardiaques dans le coeur pulmonaire chronique. Bull. Phys.-Path. Resp.8, 1411–1414 (1972)

  24. Moret, P., Covarrubias, E., Coundert, J., Duchosal, F.: Cardiocirculatory adaptation to chronic hypoxia. I. Comparative study of coronary flow, myocardial oxygen consumption and efficiency between sea level and high altitude residents. Acta cardiol. (Brux.)27, 283–305 (1972)

  25. Moret, P., Vergnes, H., Duchosal, F.: Adaptation du métabolisme du myocarde a l'altitude. Schweiz. med. Wschr.103, 293–294 (1973)

  26. Poupa, O., Krofta, K., Procházka, J., Turek, Z.: Acclimation to simulated high altitude and acute cardiac necrosis. Fed. Proc.25, 1243–1246 (1966)

  27. Rakuŝan, K., Rajhathy, J.: Distribution of cardiac output and organ blood content in anemic and polycythemic rats. Canad. J. Physiol. Pharmacol.50, 703–710 (1972)

  28. Renaud, S.: Jugular vein technique for blood collection and intravenous injection in the rat. Lab. Animal Care19, 664 (1969)

  29. Ressl, J., Urbanová, D., Widimský, J., Oŝťádal, B., Pelouch, V., Procházka, J.: Reversibility of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy induced by intermittent high altitude hypoxia in rats. Respiration31, 38–46 (1974)

  30. Sapirstein, L. A.: Fractionation of the cardiac output of rats with isotopic potassium. Circulat. Res.4, 689–692 (1956)

  31. Sapirstein, L. A.: Regional blood flow by fractional distribution of indicators. Amer. J. Physiol.193, 161–168 (1958)

  32. Swigart, R. H.: Polycythemia and right ventricular hypertrophy. Circulat. Res.17, 30–38 (1965)

  33. Takács, L.: Coronary circulation in hypoxic states. Acta physiol. Acad. Sci. hung.11, 55–65 (1957)

  34. Turek, Z., Turek-Maischeider, M., Claessens, R. A., Ringnalda, B. E. M., Kreuzer, F.: Coronary blood flow in rats native to simulated high altitude and in rats exposed to it later in life. Pflügers Arch.335, 49–62 (1975)

  35. Urbanová, D., Ressl, J., Widimský, J., Oŝťádal, B., Pelouch, V., Procházka, J.: Pulmonary vascular changes induced by intermittent altitude hypoxia and their reversibility in rat. Beitr. Path.150, 389–399 (1973)

  36. Widimský, J., Urbanová, D., Ressl, J., Oŝťádal, B., Pelouch, V., Procházka, J.: Effect of intermittent altitude hypoxia on the myocardium and lesser circulation in the rat. Cardiovasc. Res.7, 798–808 (1973)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kasalický, J., Ressl, J., Urbanová, D. et al. Relative organ blood flow in rats exposed to intermittent high altitude hypoxia. Pflugers Arch. 368, 111–115 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01063462

Download citation

Key words

  • Altitude
  • Myocardium
  • Regional blood flow
  • Blood volume
  • Rat