Physiological Effects of High Pressures of Nitrogen and Oxygen
A brief survey is given of the effects of different pressures on living organisms. High-oxygen partial pressures inhibit oxidative metabolism and, according to Gerschman, have effects which summate at some point with the effects of radiation. In a study of the mechanism of the narcotic effect of inert gases, it was found that high pressures of nitrogen and argon, but not helium, act like other anestheties in favoring water-in-oil rather than oil-in-water emulsion of dilute NaOH solutions and olive oil. The effect is small but appears to be real. This suggests that inert gases may make the lipoidal surface layer of cells relatively more continuous and therefore less permeable.
- © 1962 American Heart Association, Inc.