European Respiratory Journal vol:3 issue:2 pages:182-6
The present investigation was undertaken to investigate the influence of hypercapnia on intrapulmonary neuroepithelial bodies (NEB). Rabbits were mechanically ventilated with a hypercapnic gas mixture (7% carbon dioxide, 20% oxygen, 73% nitrogen). Lung samples were examined by a microspectrographical analysis of the NEB formaldehyde-induced fluorescence to quantify the cytoplasmic 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5HT) content and by electron microscopy to determine morphometrically the extent of the secretory exocytosis at the basal poles of the NEB epithelial cells. In contrast to our earlier studies on the effects of hypoxia and/or vagal stimulation, hypercapnia did not alter significantly the NEB cytoplasmic fluorescence nor did it affect the corpuscular epithelial exocytosis. NEB appear not to be influenced by hypercapnia to discharge their contents of 5HT and peptides. This investigation appears to support a high selectivity of the intrapulmonary NEB to local hypoxia and changes in vagal efferent output.