The permselectivity of the parietal pleura was determined in spontaneously breathing anesthetized rabbits and dogs. In rabbits, we injected intrapleurally 5 ml of 1-g/dl albumin solution containing 100 microCi of 131I-labeled albumin plus 100 microCi of either lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) or alpha 2–125I-macroglobulin. Dogs received 100 ml of 1-g/dl albumin solution containing 100 microCi of 131I-albumin plus 100 microCi of alpha 2–125I-macroglobulin. A transpleural pressure gradient was set, lowering the intracapsular pressure to -30 cmH2O. The solvent drag reflection coefficients (sigma f) were calculated as the ratio between tracer concentrations in capsular and pleural liquid collected at 60–180 min. In rabbits sigma f was 0.44 +/- 0.2 (SD) for albumin, 0.84 +/- 0.1 for LDH, and 0.93 +/- 0.05 for alpha 2-macroglobulin. In dogs sigma f was 0.30 +/- 0.19 for albumin and 0.53 +/- 0.15 for alpha 2-macroglobulin. The hydraulic conductivity of the parietal pleura was 2.18 +/- 1.54 microliters.h-1.cmH2O-1.cm-2 in rabbits and 1.22 +/- 1.13 microliters.h-1.cmH2O-1.cm-2 in dogs. The parietal pleura could be modeled by two pore populations with radii of 83–89 and 156-222 A. The permeability coefficient averaged 0.08–0.21 x 10(-6) cm/s for albumin, 0.06–0.09 x 10(-6) cm/s for LDH, and 0.01-0.03 x 10(-6) cm/s for alpha 2-macroglobulin.
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