Effects of crocetin on pulmonary gas exchange in foxhounds during hypoxic exercise

Peter D. Wagner, Connie C W Hsia, Ruchi Goel, James M. Fay, Harrieth E. Wagner, Robert L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The carotenoid compound crocetin has been hypothesized to enhance the diffusion of O2 through plasma, and observations in the rat and rabbit have revealed improvement in arterial PO2 when crocetin is given. To determine whether crocetin enhances diffusion of O2 between alveolar gas and the red blood cell in the pulmonary capillary in vivo, five foxhounds, two previously subjected to sham and three to actual lobectomy or pneumonectomy, were studied while breathing 14% O2 at rest and during moderate and heavy exercise before and within 10 min after injection of a single dose of crocetin as the trans isomer of sodium crocetinate (TSC) at 100 μg/kg iv. This dose is equivalent to that used in previous studies and would yield an initial plasma concentration of 0.7-1.0 μg/ml. Ventilation-perfusion inequality and pulmonary diffusion limitation were assessed by the multiple inert gas elimination technique in concert with conventional measurements of arterial and mixed venous O2 and CO2. TSC had no effect on ventilation, cardiac output, O2 consumption, arterial PO2/saturation, or pulmonary O2 diffusing capacity. There were minor reductions in ventilation-perfusion mismatching (logarithm of the standard deviation of perfusion fell from 0.48 to 0.43, P = 0.001) and in CO2 output and respiratory exchange ratio (P = 0.05), which may have been due to TSC or to persisting effects of the first exercise bout. Spectrophotometry revealed that TSC disappeared from plasma with a half time of ~ 10 min. We conclude that, in this model of extensive pulmonary O2 diffusion limitation, TSC as given has no effect on O2 exchange or transport. Whether the original hypothesis is invalid, the dose of TSC was too low, or plasma diffusion of O2 is not rate limiting without TSC cannot be discerned from the present study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Diffusing capacity
  • Multiple inert gas elimination technique
  • Ventilation-perfusion inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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