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Role of medullary inspiratory neurones in the control of the diaphragm during oesophageal stimulation in cats


Role of medullary inspiratory neurones in the control of the diaphragm during oesophageal stimulation in cats



Journal of Physiology 391: 289-298



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3751

PMID: 3443947

DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.1987.sp016738

1. The effect of oesophageal distension and swallowing on the activity of medullary respiratory neurones was recorded in decerebrate, spontaneously breathing cats. The distension, produced by inflating a balloon in the thoracic portion of the oesophagus, was of sufficient magnitude to induce inhibition of the peri-oesophageal part of the crural diaphragm, with little effect on the respiratory function of the diaphragm as measured by the activity in the C5 branch of the phrenic nerve. 2. 424 neurones were tested. They were located bilaterally, in the region of the nucleus tractus solitarius (dorsal respiratory group) or the ambiguus complex (ventral respiratory groups). No cell exhibited a change in activity during periods of strong inhibition of crural electrical activity induced by distension or swallowing. The activity of all cells paralleled that of the C5 phrenic neurogram, which was unaffected by the tests. 3. We conclude that the reflex inhibition of the crural diaphragm during oesophageal distension does not result from an inhibition and medullary premotor inspiratory neurones of the dorsal and ventral groups. Additional central pathways must exist that inhibit motoneurones to the crural diaphragm during gastrointestinal reflexes.

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Accession: 018102345

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