Flow-induced vasodilation in the ferret lung

Joseph H. Chammas, David A. Rickaby, Margarita Guarin, John H. Linehan, Christopher C. Hanger, Christopher A. Dawson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To examine the possibility that shear stress may be a pulmonary vasodilator stimulus, we studied the effect of changing blood flew on the diameters of small pulmonary arteries in isolated perfused ferret lung lobes. The arteries studied were in the ~0.3-to 1.3-mm-diameter range, and the diameters were measured by using microfocal X-ray imaging. The diameters were measured at two flow rates, 10 and 40 ml/min, with the intravascular pressure in the measured vessels the same at the two flow rates as the result of venous pressure adjustment. The response to a change in flow was studied under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Hypoxia was used to elevate pulmonary arterial tone to increase the likelihood of detecting a vasodilator response. Under normoxic conditions, changing flow had little effect on the arterial diameters, but under hypoxic conditions the arteries were consistently larger at the higher flow than at the lower flow, even though the distending pressure was the same at the two flow rates. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that shear stress is a pulmonary vasodilator stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-502
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulmonary arterial diameters
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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