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Influence of starvation on enzyme-induced emphysema.


Adult rats were exposed to an aerosol of 10% papain for 8 h twice in a 2-wk interval. The control rats were exposed to isotonic saline in the same manner. Three weeks after the final exposure rats were divided into four groups: emphysema-fed, emphysema-starved, control-fed, and control-starved. Starved animals received one-third of their measured daily food consumption and water ad libitum for 6 wk. Final body weight, dry and wet weights of lungs and postfixation lung volume (VL) were significantly lower in starved rats. Dry-to-wet weight ratios were not significantly different among the groups, but VL/body weight was significantly higher in starved animals. Elastic recoil pressure of lung tissue determined in saline-filled lungs decreased and chord compliance over mid- and high-volume ranges increased significantly in starved animals both in control and emphysema groups. Mean linear intercept of air spaces was greater and internal surface area was smaller in starved rats in each group. Therefore, it appears that starvation aggravates the preexisting emphysematous processes in rat lungs.

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