Document Detail

Respiratory mechanics and control of the ventilatory cycle in the garter snake.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3704379     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We measured respiratory airflow and intrapulmonary pressure in spontaneously breathing garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) before and after bilateral vagotomy. Each breathing cycle consisted of expiration, inspiration, and a breath-holding period with the glottis closed, as previously reported. Respiratory system compliance was very high compared with that of mammals (0.042 ml/cm H2O per g), but was considerably reduced when the animal was coiled. Resistance to airflow averaged 6.35 cm H2O per ml/sec. Lung volume during the breath-hold was usually above the relaxed volume of the system. Analysis of dynamic pressure-volume and flow-volume loops showed that both expiration and inspiration were active, and that little use was made of passive recoil pressure in expiration. Evidence that vagally mediated, volume-related feedback influenced the breathing pattern was found in some snakes, but this influence was weaker than in most mammals and other reptiles. The results suggest that breathing in snakes is mainly a centrally programmed process, not markedly dependent on respiratory system mechanics or neuromechanical feedback. This arrangement is advantageous in view of the high, posturally variable compliance and the frequent regional distortions of the respiratory system that result from the unique structure of these animals.
D Bartlett; J P Mortola; E J Doll
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Respiration physiology     Volume:  64     ISSN:  0034-5687     ISO Abbreviation:  Respir Physiol     Publication Date:  1986 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1986-06-12     Completed Date:  1986-06-12     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0047142     Medline TA:  Respir Physiol     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  13-27     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Airway Resistance
Glottis / physiology
Lung / physiology*
Lung Compliance
Lung Volume Measurements
Pulmonary Ventilation
Snakes / physiology*
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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