Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 402, Issue 3, pp 312–316 | Cite as

Changes of ventilation and ventilatory response to hypoxia during the menstrual cycle

  • Nariko Takano
Heart, Circulation, Respiration and Blood; Environmental and Exercise Physiology


The relationship between change in hypoxic sensitivity in respiration, defined as increment in ventilation per drop of arterial O2 saturation\(\left( {\Delta \dot V_{\text{E}} /\Delta S_{a_{{\text{O}}_2 } } } \right)\), with the phase change from follicular to luteal and those in resting pulmonary ventilation\(\left( {\dot V_{\text{E}} } \right)\), mean inspiratory flow (VT/TI), alveolar partial pressures of CO2 and O2 (\(P_{A_{{\text{CO}}_{\text{2}} } }\) and\(P_{A_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } }\), respectively) and body temperature was studied in 10 women. There was a significant relationship between % increase in hypoxic sensitivity and decrement of resting\(P_{A_{{\text{CO}}_{\text{2}} } }\) that occurred in the luteal phase. However, no significant relationships were observed between change in hypoxic sensitivity and those in the remaining parameters studied. The intersubject variation in % increase in resting\(\dot V_{\text{E}}\) during the luteal phase was not associated with that in % increase in hypoxic sensitivity. The results indicate that the contribution of increased hypoxic sensitivity to increasing\(\dot V_{\text{E}}\) during the luteal phase is variable among subjects. Reasons for the increase in hypoxic sensitivity with hypocapnia are discussed.

Key words

Progesterone-induced hyperventilation Ventilatory response to hypoxia Hypocapnia Menstrual cycle 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beek JHGM van, Berkenbosch A, De Goede J, Olievier CN (1983) Ventilatory responses to central and peripheral hypoxia. In: Effects of central and peripheral hypoxia on the regulation of breathing. Thesis, Leiden (The Netherlands), pp 67–83Google Scholar
  2. Berger W, Berger K, Berndt J, Giese K (1978) Interaction of peripheral and central respiratory drives in cats. I. Effects of sodium cyanide as a peripheral chemoreceptor stimulus at different levels of CSF pH. Pflügers Arch 374:205–210Google Scholar
  3. Chiodi H, Snow H (1972) Pulmonary hyperventilation induced by progesterone in a castrated male sheep. Fed Proc 31:362Google Scholar
  4. Dejours P (1962) Chemoreflexes in breathing. Physiol Rev 42:335–358Google Scholar
  5. Edelman NH, Epstein PE, Lahiri S, Cherniack NS (1973) Ventilatory responses to transient hypoxia and hypercapnia in man. Respir Physiol 17:302–314Google Scholar
  6. Eldridge FL, Gill-Kumar P, Millhorn DE (1981) Input-output relationships of central neural circuits involved in respiration in cats. J Physiol 311:81–95Google Scholar
  7. England SJ, Farhi LE (1976) Fluctuations in alveolar CO2 and in base excess during the menstrual cycle. Respir Physiol 26:157–161Google Scholar
  8. Giese K, Berndt J, Berger W (1978) Interaction of central and peripheral drives in cats. II. Peripheral and central interaction of hypoxia and hypercapnia. Pflügers Arch 374:211–217Google Scholar
  9. Honda Y, Hata N, Sakakibara Y, Nishino T, Satomura Y (1981) Central hypoxic-hypercapnic interaction in mild hypoxia in man. Pflügers Arch 391:289–295Google Scholar
  10. Hosenpud JD, Hart MV, Morton MJ, Hohimer AR, Resko JA (1983) Progesterone-induced hyperventilation in the guinea pig. Respir Physiol 52:259–264Google Scholar
  11. Kagawa S, Slafford MJ, Waggener TB, Severinghaus JW (1982) No effect of naloxone on hypoxia-induced ventilatory depression in adults. J Appl Physiol: Respir Environ Exercise Physiol 52:1030–1034Google Scholar
  12. Keith IM, Bisgard GE, Manohar M, Klein J, Bullard VA (1982) Respiratory effects of pregnancy and progesterone in Jersey cows. Respir Physiol 50:351–358Google Scholar
  13. Loeschcke HH (1954) Über die Wirkung von Steroidhormonen auf die Lungenbelüftung. Klin Wochenschr 32:441–445Google Scholar
  14. Machida H (1981) Influence of progesterone on arterial blood and CSF acid-base balance in women. J Appl Physiol: Respir Environ Exercise Physiol 51:1433–1436Google Scholar
  15. Milic-Emili J, Grunstein MM (1976) Drive and timing components of ventilation. Chest 70 [suppl]:131–133Google Scholar
  16. Milne JA (1979) The respiratory response to pregnancy. Postgrad Med J 55:318–324Google Scholar
  17. Schoene RB, Pierson DJ, Lakshminaravan S, Shrader DL, Butler J (1980) Effect of medroxyprogesterone acetate on respiratory drives and occlusion pressure. Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir 16:645–653Google Scholar
  18. Schoene RB, Robertson HT, Pierson DJ, Peterson AP (1981) Respiratory drives and exercise in menstrual cycles of athletic and nonathletic women. J Appl Physiol: Respir Environ Exercise Physiol 50:1300–1305Google Scholar
  19. Shaw RA, Schonfeld SA, Whitcomb ME (1982) Progressive and transient hypoxic ventilatory drive tests in healthy subjects. Am Rev Respir Dis 126:37–40Google Scholar
  20. Skatrud JB, Dempsey JA, Kaiser DG (1978) Ventilatory response to medroxyprogesterone acetate in normal subjects: time course and mechanism. J Appl Physiol: Respir Environ Exercise Physiol 44:939–944Google Scholar
  21. Skatrud JB, Dempsey JA, Iber C, Berssenbrugge A (1981) Correction of CO2 retention during sleep in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Am Rev Respir Dis 124:260–268Google Scholar
  22. Sørensen SC, Severinghaus JW (1968) Respiratory sensitivity to acute hypoxia in man born at sea level living at high altitude. J Appl Physiol 25:211–216Google Scholar
  23. Takano N, Sakai A, Iida Y (1981) Analysis of alveolar\(P_{CO_{\text{2}} }\) control during the menstrual cycle. Pflügers Arch 390:56–62Google Scholar
  24. Takano N (1982) Resting pulmonary ventilation and dead space ventilation during the menstrual cycle. Japan J Physiol 32:469–473Google Scholar
  25. Takano N (1984) Reflex hypoxic drive to respiration during the menstrual cycle. Respir Physiol 56:229–235Google Scholar
  26. Tok G, Loeschcke HH (1980) The effect of progesterone applied to the ventral surface of the medulla oblongata of the cat on the respiratory and circulatory control system. Proc XXVIII Int Congr Physiol Sci, vol XIV, 747Google Scholar
  27. Weiskoph RB, Gabel RA (1975) Depression of ventilation during hypoxia in man. J Appl Physiol 39:911–915Google Scholar
  28. White DP, Douglas NJ, Pickett CK, Weil JV, Zwillich CW (1983) Sexual influence on the control of breathing. J Appl Physiol: Respir Environ Exercise Physiol 54:874–879Google Scholar
  29. Zwillich CW, Natalino MR, Sutton FD, Weil JV (1978) Effects of progesterone on chemosensitivity in normal men. J Lab Clin Med 92:262–269Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nariko Takano
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiology Laboratory, Department of School Health, Faculty of EducationKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan

Personalised recommendations