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Active sodium transport contributes to liquid clearance from the alveoli. We hypothesized that the magnitude of active transport of alveolar liquid depends on the extent to which the alveolar epithelium is stretched and, consequently, on the degree of alveolar inflation. In a study on 38 adult rabbits, the left lung was filled in vivo with a solution of glucose (10 mmol/l) made isosmotic with plasma, using sodium chloride, and held at a constant airway pressure of 3, 6, or 9 cmH2O for 6 h. Alveolar liquid clearance was measured directly as a flow into a left main bronchial catheter. Control animals were compared with animals in which active epithelial sodium transport was inhibited by adding amiloride and phloridzin (both 1 mmol/l) to the instillate. At low inflation, active sodium transport reversed a secretion of liquid into the alveoli; at high inflation, active sodium transport made little or no contribution to transepithelial flow. Hydraulic conductance of the left lung was 1.57 body wt-1. The experiments suggest that pulmonary inflation renders active liquid clearance ineffective.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Physiol

Publication Date





L482 - L487


Air, Amiloride, Animals, Biological Transport, Active, Glucose, Lung, Lung Volume Measurements, Phlorhizin, Physical Stimulation, Rabbits, Sodium, Solutions