Scientific article

Oxygen transport during exercise in large mammals. II. Oxygen uptake by the pulmonary gas exchanger

Published inJournal of applied physiology, vol. 67, no. 2, p. 871-878
Publication date1989-08-01

Because the maximal rate of O2 consumption (VO2max) of the horse is 2.6 times larger than that of steers of equal size, we wondered whether their pulmonary gas exchanger is proportionately larger. Three Standardbred racehorses [body mass (Mb) = 447 kg] and three domestic steers (Mb = 474 kg) whose cardiovascular function at VO2max had been thoroughly studied (Jones et al. J. Appl. Physiol. 67: 862–870, 1989) were used to study their lungs by morphometry. The basic morphometric parameters were similar in both species. The nearly 2 times larger lung volumes of the horses caused the gas exchange surfaces and capillary blood volume to be 1.6 to 1.8 times larger. Morphometric pulmonary diffusing capacity was 2 times larger in the horse than in the steer; the 2.6-fold greater rate of O2 uptake thus required the alveolar-capillary PO2 difference to be 1.3 times larger in the horse than in the steer. Combining physiological and morphometric data, we calculated capillary transit time at VO2max to be 0.4–0.5 s. Bohr integration showed capillary blood to be equilibrated with alveolar air after 75 and 58% of transit time in horses and steers, respectively; horses maintain a smaller degree of redundancy in their pulmonary gas exchanger.

Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
BECKER, Minerva et al. Oxygen transport during exercise in large mammals. II. Oxygen uptake by the pulmonary gas exchanger. In: Journal of applied physiology, 1989, vol. 67, n° 2, p. 871–878. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1989.67.2.871
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1522-1601

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