Using Plethysmography to Determine Erythropoietin’s Impact on Neural Control of Ventilation

  • Tommy Seaborn
  • Max Gassmann
  • Jorge Soliz
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 982)


The evaluation of respiratory parameters often requires the use of anesthetics (that depress the neural ­network controlling respiration), and/or ways to restrain the animal’s mobility (that produces a stress-dependent increase of respiration). Consequently, the establishment of plethysmography represented an invaluable technique in respiratory physiology. Plethysmography, indeed, allows the assessment of ventilatory parameters on living, unanesthetized, and unrestrained animals. The conception of the barometric plethysmography relies on the fact that an animal placed inside a hermetically closed chamber generates through its breathing a fluctuation of pressure in the chamber than can be recorded. Thus, the respiratory frequency and the tidal volume can be directly measured, while the animal’s ventilation is calculated indirectly by the multiplication of these two parameters. In our hands, plethysmography was a key tool to investigate the impact of erythropoietin (Epo) on the neural control of hypoxic ventilation in mice.

Key words

Lung capacity Mouse Respiration Respiratory frequency Tidal volume Ventilation Hypoxia 



The authors would like to thank Drs Vincent Joseph and Cécile Julien as well as Mr Raphaël Lavoie and Miss Hanan Khemiri for helpful discussions and valuable advices. J.S. is supported by the Respiratory Health Network of the FRSQ (Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec), the Foundation of Stars for the Children’s health research, the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation (MTPRF). M.G. is supported by the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommy Seaborn
    • 1
  • Max Gassmann
    • 2
  • Jorge Soliz
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Centre de Recherche de l’Hôpital St-François d’Assise (CR-SFA)Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHUQ), Laval UniversityQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP)University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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