The resistance of rats to hypoxia was measured by survival time after exposure to high-altitude (11.5 km) hypoxia. The first exposure to acute hypoxia caused phasic changes in the survival time: short-term in high-resistant rats (about 24 h) and long-term in moderate- and low-resistant rats (38-39 days) starting from l h and 6-7 days after the first exposure, respectively. Adaptive reactions were more pronounced in low- and moderate-resistant rats, while disadaptation was typical of high-resistant animals. In all rats, the adaptive effect dominated until days 22-23. Throughout the testing, the initial type of resistance was retained in 79% of high-resistant rats, in 41% of low-resistant and in 33% of moderate-resistant rats, i. e., the initially homogenous groups formed after the first exposure in accordance with the type of resistance became mixed, which reduced the intergroup differences. ©1999 Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.