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Effect of cardiopulmonary C fibre activation on the firing activity of ventral respiratory group neurones in the rat

Effect of cardiopulmonary C fibre activation on the firing activity of ventral respiratory group neurones in the rat

Journal of Physiology 504: 453-466

1. Cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor stimulation elicits apnoea and rapid shallow breathing, but the effects on the firing activity of central respiratory neurones are not well understood. This study examined the responses of ventral respiratory group neurones: decrementing expiratory (Edec), augmenting expiratory (Eaug), and inspiratory (I) neurones during cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor-evoked apnoea and rapid shallow breathing. 2. Extracellular neuronal activity, phrenic nerve activity and arterial pressure were recorded in urethane-anaesthetized rats. Cardiopulmonary C fibre receptors were stimulated by right atrial injections of phenylbiguanide. Neurones were tested for antidromic activation from the contra- and ipsilateral ventral respiratory group (VRG), spinal cord and cervical vagus nerve. 3. Edec neurones discharged tonically during cardiopulmonary C fibre-evoked apnoea and rapid shallow breathing, displaying increased burst durations, number of impulses per burst, and mean impulse frequencies. Edec neurones recovered either with the phrenic nerve activity (25 s) or much later (3 min). 4. By contrast, the firing activity of Eaug and most I neurones was decreased, featuring decreased burst durations and number of impulses per burst and increased interburst intervals. Eaug activity recovered in approximately 3 min and inspiratory activity in approximately 1 min. 5. The results indicate that cardiopulmonary C fibre receptor stimulation causes tonic firing of Edec neurones and decreases in Eaug and I neuronal activity coincident with apnoea or rapid shallow breathing.

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Accession: 017870990

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PMID: 9365917

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7793.1997.453be.x

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