Selective permeability changes in the lungs and airways of sheep after toxic smoke inhalation

R. E. Barrow, S. E. Morris, J. O. Basadre, D. N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The effect of toxic smoke inhalation on selective microvascular sieving of macromolecules and lymph protein flux was assessed in adult sheep to determine whether the time course of microvascular dysfunction differs between the lung and trachea. Protein flux across the lung increased sixfold 48 h after inhalation of the products of incomplete cotton combustion, whereas tracheal protein flux increased fivefold 8 h after exposure and returned to near base line 48 h after exposure. The lung and trachea selectively retained some sieving to three different protein macromolecules with molecular radii of 36, 54, and 123 Å. In the lungs the sieving selectivity for these macromolecules was least 48 h after injury, and in the trachea molecular selectivity was least 8 h after injury. These data suggest that the time course of microvascular injury differs for the trachea and the lung; microvascular changes are detected earlier in the trachea than in the lung. The inhalation injury described thus permits the characterization of the time course of airway and lung microvascular changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2165-2170
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • capillary permeability
  • lymph-to-plasma barrier
  • microvascular barrier
  • selective molecular sieving
  • toxic smoke injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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