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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 5, Issue 5, Pages 349-354
Original Article

Effect of High Dose Inhaled Acetic Acid on Airway Responsiveness in Fischer Rats

AP Ariel, HG Furlott, KR Chapman, AS Slutsky, P Webster, N Zamel, and SM Tarlo

Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Sudden, severe airway injury has been associated with an acute, and at times persisting, airway hyper-responsiveness with clinical features of asthma, termed reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS). An attempt was made to develop a rat model of RADS by exposing inbred Fischer rats to inhaled 8 N acetic acid for 2 mins (13 N inhalation was lethal).

METHODS: Lung resistance (RL) and lung elastance (EL) were measured in 14 eight- to 10-week old male rats. Baseline responsiveness to methacholine was quantified by calculating the dose required for doubling of RL. The next day, the study group (n=11) was exposed to aerosolized acetic acid. Control animals (n=3) were similarly exposed to buffered saline solution.

RESULTS: Acetic acid exposure resulted in a significant (P <0.02) increase in RL (by 80%) and EL (by 67%), lasting less than 10 mins postexposure, but no significant change in methacholine responsiveness at one day and seven days postexposure.

CONCLUSIONS: Failure to induce persistent airway hyper-responsiveness may relate to the choice of animal, choice of irritant, or insufficient level or duration of exposure, or may reflect a lack of individual predisposing cofactors such as smoking or underlying asthmatic predisposition.