UNIT 24.1 In Situ Measurement of Vapor Uptake in the Rodent Upper Respiratory Tract

  1. John B. Morris,
  2. Joseph A. Cichocki,
  3. Gregory J. Smith

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx2401s55

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Morris, J. B., Cichocki, J. A. and Smith, G. J. 2013. In Situ Measurement of Vapor Uptake in the Rodent Upper Respiratory Tract. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 55:24.1:24.1.1–24.1.10.

Author Information

  1. Toxicology Program, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


The response of respiratory tract tissue target sites to inhaled vapors depends on the amount of inhaled vapor that is delivered to those sites. Direct measurement of vapor absorption within a specific airway of the living animal requires that the airway be isolated, which currently can only be performed on the upper airways. Towards this end, the upper respiratory tract (all airways anterior to the larynx) is surgically isolated in the anesthetized rat by tracheostomy and insertion of two endotracheal tubes, one leading anteriorly and the other posteriorly. The surgically manipulated animal is then placed in a nose-only inhalation chamber and test-vapor-laden air is drawn through the isolated upper airways under defined air flow conditions via the anterior endotracheal tube. The animal spontaneously respires clean air into the lungs during this procedure via the posterior endotracheal tube. The concentration of test vapor in air entering and the air exiting the upper airways is measured by gas chromatography, and the difference in concentrations provides a measure of vapor absorption in that site. A rich database is available on upper respiratory tract vapor absorption as measured by this methodology, to which newly obtained data can be compared. These data have been instrumental not only in understanding the regional airway toxicity of inspired vapors, but also for developing mathematical models to describe inhaled vapor dosimetry. Curr. Protoc. Toxicol. 55:24.1.1-24.1.10. © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • inhalation toxicology;
  • vapor absorption;
  • airway toxicity