Effects of graded exercise on bronchial blood flow and airway dimensions in sheep

Robert Bishop, D. McLeod, S. McIlveen, R. Blake, R. Gunther, J. Davis, L. Talken, D. Cottee, A. Quail, G. Parsons, S. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Exercise stimulus-response relationships for airway blood supply and dimensions have not been described in mammalian species. These relationships are vital for postulates concerning integrated reflex factors normally controlling the airways and which may underlie the asthma syndromes of exercise. This study defines airways stimulus-response relationships in exercising sheep. Ewes between 35 and 40 kg were instrumented at left thoracotomy under thiopentone/isoflurane general anaesthesia. Pulsed Doppler ultrasonic transducers were mounted on the bronchial artery, and transit-time plus single-crystal sonomicrometers on the left main bronchus. These recorded simultaneously and continuously bronchial blood flow (Qbr) and conductance (Cbr), bronchial circumference (Circbr) and wall thickness (Thbr). In Protocol 1 (P1), four sheep ran duplicate 5 min protocols on a horizontal treadmill at continuous step-up-and-down speeds of 1 min duration, namely, 0.8, 1.6, 2.2, 1.6 and 0.8 mph (moderate exercise), followed by 10 min recovery. In P2, four sheep ran duplicate 2 min protocols at constant 4 mph (strenuous exercise), and in P3, one sheep ran duplicate protocols each of 3 min at 2.2, 4.4 and 6 mph (severe exercise). Regression analysis and repeated measures ANOVA were used to assess differences between times, runs and exercise intensity. In P1, airway effects were directly related to graded exercise effort sustained over 5 min. Peak effects occurred at 2.2 mph, except for Thbr. Heart rate and Pa rose (to 156% and 111% of resting, respectively), and Qbr and Cbr fell (to 83% and 75%; both P<0.001). Circbr fell to 96% (P=0.02), and Thbr rose at low speeds early and late, and thinned at the highest speed. In P2 and P3 for all variables the steady-state effects were systematically greater than for P1 (4.4 mph: Cbr to 43%, Circbr to 93%; 6.6 mph: Cbr to 25%, Circbr to 82%). There was no significant recovery hyperaemia, but there was residual post-exercise bronchoconstriction. The exercise stimulus-response relationships from rest to a maximal 6 mph for sheep airway circumference and its bronchial circulation are inverse and functionally constrictor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic pressure
  • Awake sheep
  • Bronchial blood flow
  • Bronchial circumference
  • Bronchial wall thickness
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Exercise
  • Sonomicrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of graded exercise on bronchial blood flow and airway dimensions in sheep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this