We examined developmental changes in breathing pattern and the ventilatory response to hypoxia (7.4% O2) in unanesthetized Swiss CD-1 mice ranging in age from postnatal day O to 42 (P0-P42) using head-out plethysmography. The breathing pattern of P0 mice was unstable. Apneas were frequent at P0 (occupying 29 ± 6% of total time) but rare by P3 (5 ± 2% of total time). Tidal volume increased in proportion to body mass (~10-13 ml/kg), but increases in respiratory frequency (f) (55 ± 7, 130 ± 13, and 207 ± 20 cycles/min for P0, P3, and P42, respectively) were responsible for developmental increases in minute ventilation (690 ± 90, 1,530 ± 250, and 2,170 ± 430 ml·min-1·kg-1 for P0, P3, and P42, respectively). Between P0 and P3, increases in f were mediated by reductions in apnea and inspiratory and expiratory times; beyond P3 increases were due to reductions in expiratory time. Mice of all ages showed a biphasic hypoxic ventilatory response, which differed in two respects from the response typical of most mammals. First, the initial hyperpnea, which was greatest in mature animals, decreased developmentally from a maximum, relative to control, of 2.58 ± 0.29 in P0 mice to 1.32 ± 0.09 in P42 mice. Second, whereas ventilation typically falls to or below control in most neonatal mammals, ventilation remained elevated relative to control throughout the hypoxic exposure in P0 (1.73 ± 0.31), P3 (1.64 ± 0.29) and P9 (1.34 ± 0.17) mice but not in P19 or P42 mice.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2000|