Changes in acid-base balance of chick embryos exposed to a He or SF6 atmosphere

H. Tazawa, J. Piiper, A. Ar, H. Rahn

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On day 16 of the chick embryo, a catheter was implanted in the allantoic vein carrying arterialized blood, and a syringe was attached to the blunt end of the shell connecting to the air cell. This technique allowed for repetitive sampling and analysis of air cell gas and arterialized blood when these eggs were exposed to a He-O2 or SF6-O2 atmosphere. Exposure to He-O2 reduced the arterial CO2 tension (Paco2) from 36 to 17 Torr and increased pH by 0.17 units; exposure to SF6-O2 increased Paco2 from 37 to 62 Torr and reduced the pH by 0.14 units. These responses were brought about by changes in the gas conductance of the shell, resulting in a diffusive hypocapnia and respiratory alkalosis in He-O2 and a diffusive hypercapnia and respiratory acidosis in SF6-O2. During a 4-h exposure to these foreign gases the observed pH changes were smaller than predicted because of marked shifts of HCO3- into the blood (SF6O2) or out of the blood (He-O2).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-823
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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