The influence of blood flow through the pulmonary circulation on the time course of recovery of the lung periphery from challenge with three bronchoconstrictive agents was studied in dogs. The rate of perfusion of the left lower lobe was varied between 0 and 300 ml/min. A fiber-optic bronchoscope (OD = 5.5 mm) was wedged in a small airway in the same lobe, and resistance to airflow through the collateral system was continuously monitored. The lung was challenged with histamine aerosol for 1 min, or with intravenous boluses of histamine, acetylcholine, or methacholine. The time constant (τ) of recovery from each of the challenges was measured under the various pulmonary blood flow conditions. The mean τ of the recoveries from histamine was inversely related to the rate of blood flow. However, pulmonary blood flow had no effect on recovery from challenge with acetylcholine or methacholine, two agents metabolized by cholinesterase in lung tissue. From this study we conclude that recovery of the lung periphery from histamine is perfusion dependent, whereas recovery from acetylcholine or metacholine is perfusion independent. This suggests that the rate of blood flow through the pulmonary circulation could play an important role in recovery of the peripheral airways from certain mediators of bronchoconstriction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)