A longitudinal analysis of pulmonary function in rats during a 12 month cigarette smoke exposure.

Dept of Pathology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 6.36). 06/1997; 10(5):1115-9. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.97.10051115
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We wanted to examine the longitudinal effects of chronic cigarette smoke exposure, and to determine whether the chronic alterations in pulmonary function induced by long-term cigarette smoke exposure in an animal model could be predicted by initial or early alterations in function. A group of Sprague Dawley rats was exposed to the smoke of 7 cigarettes x day(-1) for 5 days x week(-1) during a total period of 12 months. Lung volume, flow-volume curves and pressure-volume curves were recorded at baseline, and after 2, 4, 8 and 12 months of smoke exposure. A control group of rats was subjected to the same regimen of testing, but was not exposed to smoke. Thirteen rats completed the study in the smoke-exposed group and seven rats in the control group. We found that chronic exposure to cigarette smoke produced early abnormalities in pulmonary function, with the forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio showing an acceleration of ageing effect, particularly between 4 and 8 months of exposure. In this model, although the two groups had significantly different airflow after 12 months, the initial values in each group were remarkably similar, and we could not identify any pulmonary function test which had predictive value. We conclude that longitudinal studies of cigarette smoke exposure in this rat model allow better characterization of the nature and time course of the effects of smoking on the lung.

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