Breath ethane as a marker of reactive oxygen species during manipulation of diet and oxygen tension in rats

Terence H. Risby, Long Jiang, Sigfried Stoll, Donald Ingram, Edward Spangler, Jane Heim, Richard Cutler, George S. Roth, Joseph M. Rifkind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Breath ethane, O2 consumption, and CO2 production were analyzed in 24- mo-old female Fischer 344 rats that had been fed continuously ad libitum (AL) or restricted 30% of AL level (DR) diets since 6 wk of age. Rats were placed in a glass chamber that was first flushed with air, then with a gas mixture containing 12% O2. After equilibration, a sample of the outflow was collected in gas sampling bags for subsequent analyses of ethane and CO2. The O2 and CO2 levels were also directly monitored in the outflow of the chamber. O2 consumption and CO2 production increased for DR rats. Hypoxia decreased O2 consumption and CO2 production for the AL-fed and DR rats. These changes reflect changes in metabolic rate due to diet and PO2. A significant decrease in ethane generation was found in DR rats compared with AL-fed rats. Under normoxic conditions, breath ethane decreased from 2.20 to 1.61 pmol ethane/ml CO2. During hypoxia the levels of ethane generation increased, resulting in a DR-associated decrease in ethane from 2.60 to 1.90 pmol ethane/ml CO2. These results support the hypothesis that DR reduces the level of oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Breath analysis
  • Dietary restriction
  • Hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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