31P-NMR study of resting in vitro rat diaphragm exposed to hypercapnia

Robert S Fitzgerald, S. Howell, W. E. Jacobus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have reported previously that, when exposed to hypercapnia of various intensities, the diaphragm reduces its force of twitch and tetanic contractions in the in vitro rat preparation as well as in the in vivo dog preparation. The experiments reported here with 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) spectroscopy attempt to examine cellular mechanisms that might be responsible for this deterioration in mechanical performance. Specifically they describe certain characteristics of this preparation and cautions needed to study the resting in vitro rat diaphragm with such techniques. Second, they report the response of intracellular pH (pH(i)), phosphocreatine (PCr), ATP, and inorganic phosphate (P(i)) in the resting in vitro rat diaphragm exposed to long-term normocapnia or to long-term hypercapnia. The results show that 1) to maintain a viable preparation, it was necessary to keep the diaphragm extended to an area approximating that at functional residual capacity, 2) the diaphragm seemed quite capable of maintaining a constant pH(i) and constant contents of ATP and P(i) during normocapnia, but there was a gradual decline in PCr, and 3) during hypercapnia there was a significant decrease in pH(i), but the behavior of the phosphate metabolites was exactly as during normocapnia. The results suggest that the decrease in mechanical performance of the diaphragm is probably not due to a decrease in the availability of the high-energy phosphates, although they do not completely exclude this possibility or possibilities related to regional compartmentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2270-2277
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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