The role of catecholamines in lung liquid absorption at birth

Pediatr Res. 1978 Mar;12(3):239-42. doi: 10.1203/00006450-197803000-00017.


We have examined the effect on lung liquid secretion of catecholamines infused in chronically catheterized fetal lambs in utero. Isoproterenol and epinephrine inhibited secretion, an effect which increased with gestation and, in fetuses near delivery, caused absorption of lung liquid. In 7 out of 8 experiments nor-epinephrine had no effect on secretion. This pattern of response and the fact that the inhibitory effect could be blocked by propranolol indicate a mode of action involving beta-adrenergic receptors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Catecholamines / pharmacology
  • Catecholamines / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / physiology
  • Sheep
  • Time Factors


  • Catecholamines
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta