In this study we investigated the effect of early life conditioning (hypoxia ± hypercapnia) on adult acute ventilatory sensitivity to hypoxia and hypercapnia. Mice were exposed to either hypoxia (5% O2) or hypoxia/hypercapnia (5% O2/8% CO2) in a normobaric chamber for 2 h at postnatal day 2 (P2), and then returned to normoxia. At 3 months of age, hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) and hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR) were measured using a plethysmograph system. Results showed that HVR was significantly decreased in the P2-hypoxia mice but not in the P2 hypoxia/hypercapnia mice as compared to the P2-normoxic mice, respectively. However, HCVR was significantly decreased in the P2 hypoxia–hypercapnia group but not in the P2-hypoxia group. These data suggest early postnatal hypoxic stress vs. hypoxic/hypercapnic stress plays different roles in fetal programming of the respiratory control system as shown by altered adult acute ventilatory sensitivity.
Hypoxia Hypercapnia Ventilatory response Respiratory control
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This study was supported by NIH grant NS 38632.
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