Respiratory mechanics and maximal expiratory flow in the anesthetized mouse

Y. L. Lai, H. C. Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Mice have been widely used in immunologic and other research to study the influence of different diseases on the lungs. However, the respiratory mechanical properties of the mouse are not clear. This study extended the methodology of measuring respiratory mechanics of anesthetized rats and guinea pigs and applied it to the mouse. First, we performed static pressure- volume and maximal expiratory flow-volume curves in 10 anesthetized paralyzed C57BL/6 mice. Second, in 10 mice, we measured dynamic respiratory compliance, forced expiratory volume in 0.1 s, and maximal expiratory flow before and after methacholine challenge. Averaged total lung capacity and functional residual capacity were 1.05 ± 0.04 and 0.25 ± 0.01 ml, respectively, in 20 mice weighing 22.2 ± 0.4 g. The chest wall was very compliant. In terms of vital capacity (VC) per second, maximal expiratory flow values were 13.5, 8.0, and 2.8 VC/s at 75, 50, and 25% VC, respectively. Maximal flow-static pressure curves were relatively linear up to pressure equal to 9 cmH2O. In addition, methacholine challenge caused significant decreases in respiratory compliance, forced expiratory volume in 0.1 s, and maximal expiratory flow, indicating marked airway constriction. We conclude that respiratory mechanical parameters of mice (after normalization with body weight) are similar to those of guinea pigs and rats and that forced expiratory maneuver is a useful technique to detect airway constriction in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-943
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Airway reactivity
  • Dynamic compliance
  • Forced expiratory maneuver
  • Static compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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