Respiratory disturbances are a common feature of panic disorder and present as breathing irregularity, hyperventilation, and increased sensitivity to carbon dioxide. Common therapeutic interventions, such as tricyclic (TCA) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, have been shown to ameliorate not only the psychological components of panic disorder but also the respiratory disturbances. These drugs are also prescribed for generalized anxiety and depressive disorders, neither of which are characterized by respiratory disturbances, and previous studies have demonstrated that TCAs and SSRIs exert effects on basal respiratory activity in animal models without panic disorder symptoms. Whether serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have similar effects on respiratory activity remains to be determined. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic administration of the SNRI antidepressant venlafaxine (VHCL) on basal respiratory output. For these experiments, we recorded phrenic nerve discharge in an in vitro arterially-perfused adult mouse preparation and diaphragm electromyogram (EMG) activity in an in vivo urethane-anesthetized adult mouse preparation. We found that following 28-d VHCL administration, basal respiratory burst frequency was markedly reduced due to an increase in expiratory duration (TE), and the inspiratory duty cycle (TI/Ttot) was significantly shortened. In addition, post-inspiratory and spurious expiratory discharges were seen in vitro. Based on our observations, we suggest that drugs capable of simultaneously blocking both 5-HT and NE reuptake transporters have the potential to influence the respiratory control network in patients using SNRI therapy.
serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI); venlafaxine; panic disorder; respiratory rhythm; breathing
Rapid shallow breathing (RSB) is mainly mediated by bronchopulmonary C-fibers (PCFs). We asked whether this RSB could be modulated by opioid. In anesthetized rats right atrial bolus injection of phenylbiguanide (PBG) to evoke RSB was repeated after: 1) intravenously giving fentanyl (μ-receptor agonist), DPDPE (δ-receptor agonist), or U-50488H (κ-receptor agonist); 2) fentanyl (iv) following naloxone methiodide, a peripheral opioid receptor antagonist; 3) bilateral microinjection of fentanyl into the nodose ganglia; 4) fentanyl (iv) with pre-blocking histamine H1 and H2 receptors by diphenhydramine and ranitidine. Systemic fentanyl challenge, but not DPDPE or U-50488H, switched the PBG-induced RSB to a long lasting apnea. This switch was blocked by naloxone methiodide rather than diphenhydramine and ranitidine. After microinjecting fentanyl into the nodose ganglia, PBG also produced an apnea. Our results suggest that activating μ-receptors is capable of turning the PCF-mediated RSB into an apnea, at least partly, via facilitating PCFs’ activity and this switching effect appears independent of the released histamine.
Asthma is typically characterised by increased ventilation heterogeneity. This can be directly inferred from the visualisation of ventilation defects in imaging studies, or indirectly inferred from indices derived from the multiple-breath nitrogen washout (MBNW). The basis for the understanding of the MBNW indices and their implication for changes in structure and function at the largest and smallest scales in the lung has been facilitated by mathematical models for inert gas transport. A new model is presented that couples airway resistance and regional tissue compliance, for simulation of the effect of ‘patchy’ bronchoconstriction - as inferred from imaging studies - on the Scond index of ventilation heterogeneity. Patches of reduced washin gas concentration can emerge by constricting only the terminal bronchioles within localised regions, however this pattern of constriction is insufficient to affect Scond; Scond from this model is only sensitive to constriction that occurs within entire contiguous regions. Furthermore the model illustrates the possibility that the MBNW may not detect gas trapped in ventilation defects..
asthma; lung simulation; multiple breath nitrogen washout; regional ventilation imaging
The dynamic mechanical properties of the respiratory system reflect the ensemble behavior of its constituent structural elements. This study assessed the appropriateness of constant-phase descriptions of respiratory tissue viscoelasticity at various distending pressures. We measured the mechanical input impedance (Z) of the lungs, chest wall and total respiratory system in twelve dogs at mean airway pressures from 5 to 30 cmH2O. Each Z was fitted with a constant-phase model which provided estimates tissue damping (G), elastance (H), and hysteresivity (η = G/H). Both G and H sharply increased with increasing distending pressure for the lungs and chest wall, while η attained a minimum near 15-20 cm H2O. Model fitting errors for the lungs and total respiratory system increased for distending pressures greater than 20 cm H2O, indicating that constant-phase descriptions of parenchymal and respiratory system viscoelasticty may be inappropriate at volumes closer to total lung capacity. Such behavior may reflect alterations in load distribution across various parenchymal stress-bearing elements.
Forced oscillations; input impedance; esophageal balloon; resistance; elastance; hysteresivity
The regional distribution of inflammation during Acute Lung Injury (ALI) is not well known. In an ovine ALI model we studied regional alveolar inflammation, surfactant composition, and CT-derived regional specific volume change (sVol) and specific compliance (sC). 18 ventilated adult sheep received IV lipopolysaccharide (LPS) until severe ALI was achieved. Blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from apical and basal lung regions were obtained at baseline and injury time points, for analysis of cytokines (IL-6, Il-1 β), BAL protein and surfactant composition. Whole lung CT images were obtained in 4 additional sheep. BAL protein and IL-1 were β significantly higher in injured apical vs. basal regions. No significant regional surfactant composition changes were observed. Baseline sVol and sC were lower in apex vs. base; ALI enhanced this cranio-caudal difference, reaching statistical significance only for sC. This study suggests that apical lung regions show greater inflammation than basal ones during IV LPS-induced ALI which may relate to differences in regional mechanical events.
Lipopolysaccharide, LPS; endotoxin; acute lung injury (ALI); ARDS; inflammation; cytokines; functional CT imaging; specific compliance
Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) raises arterial pressure, impairs vasodilator responsiveness, and increases circulating angiotensin II (Ang II); however, the role of Ang II in CIH-induced vascular dysfunction is unknown. Rats were exposed to CIH or room air (NORM), and a subset of these animals was treated with losartan (Los) during the exposure period. After 28 days, vasodilatory responses to acetylcholine or nitroprusside were measured in isolated gracilis arteries. Superoxide levels and Ang II receptor protein expression were measured in saphenous arteries. After 28 days, arterial pressure was increased and acetylcholine-induced vasodilation was blunted in CIH vs. NORM, and this was prevented by Los. Responses to nitroprusside and superoxide levels did not differ between CIH and NORM. Expression of AT2R was decreased and the AT1R:AT2R ratio was increased in CIH vs. NORM, but this was unaffected by Los. These results indicate that the blood pressure elevation and endothelial dysfunction associated with CIH is dependent, at least in part, on RAS signaling.
Intermittent hypoxia; Endothelial function; Angiotensin II
Previous studies have demonstrated an important role for beta-2 adrenergic receptors (β2AR) in lung fluid clearance. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between β2AR density on lymphocytes and indices of lung water in healthy humans exposed to ~17hr of hypoxia (FIO2 12.5% in a hypoxia tent).
Thirteen adults (mean±SEM; age=31±3yr, BMI=24±1 kg/m2, VO2Peak=40±2 ml/kg/min) participated. Pulmonary function, CT derived lung tissue volume (Vtis-tissue, blood & water), lung diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DCO) and nitric oxide (DNO), alveolar-capillary conductance (DM), pulmonary capillary blood volume (Vc) and lung water (CT Vtis − Vc) were assessed before and after ~17hr normobaric hypoxia (FIO2 12.5%). β2AR density on lymphocytes was measured via radioligand binding. Arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), cardiac output (Q), right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) and blood pressure (BP) were also assessed.
After 17hr hypoxia, SaO2 decreased from 97±1 (normoxia) to 82±4% and RVSP increased from 15±9 (normoxia) to 28±4mmHg (p<0.05) with little change in Q or BP. Vc and DM both increased with hypoxia with a small increase in DM/Vc ratio (p>0.05). CT Vtis decreased and lung water was estimated to decline 7±13%, respectively. β2AR density averaged 1497±187 receptors/lymphocyte and increased 21±34% with hypoxia (range −31 to +86%). The post-hypoxia increase in β2AR density was significantly related to the reduction in lung water (r=−0.64, p<0.05), with the subjects with the greatest increase in density demonstrating the largest decline in lung water.
Lung water decreases with 17hr normobaric hypoxia are associated with changes in beta adrenergic receptor density on lymphocytes in healthy adults.
Lung water; edema; altitude physiology; pulmonary congestion
Airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), a hallmark of asthma, is a highly complex phenomenon characterized by multiple processes manifesting over a large range of length and time scales. Multiscale computational models have been derived to embody the experimental understanding of AHR. While current models differ in their derivation, a common assumption is that the increase in parenchymal tethering pressure Pteth during airway constriction can be described using the model proposed by Lai-Fook (1979), which is based on intact lung experimental data for elastic moduli over a range of inflation pressures. Here we reexamine this relationship for consistency with a nonlinear elastic material law that has been parameterised to the pressure-volume behaviour of the intact lung. We show that the nonlinear law and Lai-Fook’s relationship are consistent for small constrictions, but diverge when the constriction becomes large.
parenchymal tethering; airway/parenchymal interaction; computational modelling; finite element modelling; bronchoconstriction
This paper reviews the scientific evidence for the safety of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitric oxide (NO) inhalation to measure pulmonary diffusing capacity (DLCO and DLNO) in pregnant women and their fetuses. In eight earlier studies, 650 pregnant women had DLCO measurements performed at various times during pregnancy, with a minimum of two to four tests per session. Both pregnant subjects that were healthy and those with medical complications were tested. No study reported adverse maternal, fetal, or neonatal outcomes from the CO inhalation in association with measuring DLCO. Eleven pregnant women, chiefly with pulmonary hypertension, and 1105 pre-term neonates, mostly with respiratory failure, were administered various dosages of NO (5–80 ppm for 4 weeks continuously in pregnant women, and 1–20 ppm for 15 min to 3 weeks for the neonates). NO treatment was found to be an effective therapy for pregnant women with pulmonary hypertension. In neonates with respiratory failure and pulmonary hypertension, NO therapy improved oxygenation and survival and has been associated with only minor, transient adverse effects. In conclusion, maternal carboxyhemoglobin ([HbCO]) levels can safely increase to 5% per testing session when the dose-exposure limit is 0.3% CO inhalation for ≤3 min, and for NO, 80 ppm for ≤ 3 min. The risk of late fetal or neonatal death from increased HbCO from diffusion testing is considerably less than the risk of death from all causes reported by the Centers for Disease Control, and is therefore considered “minimal risk”.
Carbon monoxide; Nitric oxide; Guidelines; Recommendations; Pregnancy
Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is a breathing pattern characterized by waxing and waning of breath volume and frequency, and is often recognized following stroke, when causal pathways are often obscure. We used an animal model to address the hypothesis that cerebral infarction is a mechanism for producing breathing instability. Fourteen male A/J mice underwent either stroke (n=7) or sham (n=7) procedure. Ventilation was measured using whole body plethysmography. Respiratory rate (RR), tidal volume (VT) and minute ventilation (Ve) mean values and coefficient of variation were computed for ventilation and oscillatory behavior. In addition, the ventilatory data were computationally fit to models to quantify autocorrelation, mutual information, sample entropy and a nonlinear complexity index. At the same time post procedure, stroke when compared to sham animal breathing consisted of a lower RR and autocorrelation, higher coefficient of variation for VT and higher coefficient of variation for Ve. Mutual information and the nonlinear complexity index were higher in breathing following stroke which also demonstrated a waxing/waning pattern. The absence of stroke in the sham animals was verified anatomically. We conclude that ventilatory pattern following cerebral infarction demonstrated increased variability with increased nonlinear patterning and a waxing/waning pattern, consistent with CSR.
Breathing; nonlinear; Cheyne-Stokes; stroke; animal
The purpose was to examine sighs and spontaneous pauses in regard to the stability of resting breathing in the B6 strain, compared to the A/J strain. A 5-HT1A receptor agonist (buspirone) and a chromosomal substitution strain (B6a1) were used to further alter breathing patterning. Ten-minute recordings of room air breathing were collected from unanaesthetized B6, A/J, and B6a1 mice. Despite no differences between strains in the magnitude and incidence of sighs, post-sigh apneas, the variation for duration of expiration (Te) after sighs, and the number of spontaneous pauses were greater in the B6, while Shannon Entropy (nonlinear metrics) for Te after sighs was lower in B6, compared to the other strains. Buspirone and chromosomal substitution eliminated post-sigh apneas and decreased spontaneous pauses. A greater irregularity and the lower complexity of post-sigh breathing in B6 are reversed by elements on A/J Chromosome 1 and by increased 5-HT1A serotonergic tone.
apnea; sighs; periodic breathing; respiratory control
The mammalian nervous system exhibits fast synchronous oscillations, which are especially prominent in respiratory-related nerve discharges. In the phrenic nerve, they include high- (HFO), medium- (MFO), and low-frequency (LFO) oscillations. Because motoneurons firing at HFO-related frequencies had never been recorded, an epiphenomenological mechanism for their existence had been posited. We have recently recorded phrenic motoneurons firing at HFO-related frequencies in unanesthetized decerebrate rats and showed that they exhibit dynamic coherence with the phrenic nerve, validating synchronous motoneuronal discharge as a mechanism underlying the generation of HFO. In so doing, we have helped validate the conclusions of previous studies by us and other investigators who have used changes in fast respiratory oscillations to make inferences about central respiratory pattern generation. Here, we seek to review changes occurring in fast synchronous oscillations during non-eupneic respiratory behaviors, with special emphasis on gasping, and the inferences that can be drawn from these dynamics regarding respiratory pattern formation.
Breathing; Motor synchrony; Gasping; Apneusis
Sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) is modulated by respiratory activity which indicates the existence of direct interactions between the respiratory and sympathetic networks within the brainstem. Our experimental studies reveal that TE prolongation evoked by baroreceptor stimulation varies with respiratory phase and depends on the pons. We speculate that the sympathetic baroreceptor reflex, providing negative feedback from baroreceptors to the rostral ventrolateral medulla and SNA, has two pathways: one direct and independent of the respiratory–sympathetic interactions and the other operating via the respiratory pattern generator and is hence dependent on the respiratory modulation of SNA. Our experimental studies in the perfused in situ rat preparation and complementary computational modelling studies support the hypothesis that baroreceptor activation during expiration prolongs the TE via transient activation of post-inspiratory and inhibition of augmenting expiratory neurones of the Bötzinger Complex (BötC). We propose that these BötC neurones are also involved in the respiratory modulation of SNA, and contribute to the respiratory modulation of the sympathetic baroreceptor reflex.
Neural control of respiration; Sympathetic baroreceptor reflex; In situ preparation; Computational modelling
Brown-Norway rats (n = 113) sensitized and challenged with nDer f 1 allergen were used to examine the contribution of lung sensory nerves to ozone (O3) exacerbation of asthma. Prior to their third challenge rats inhaled 1.0 ppm O3 for 8 hours. There were three groups: 1) control; 2) vagus perineural capsaicin treatment (PCT) with or without hexamethonium; and 3) vagotomy. O3 inhalation resulted in a significant increase in lung resistance (RL) and an exaggerated response to subsequent allergen challenge. PCT abolished the O3-induced increase in RL and significantly reduced the increase in RL induced by a subsequent allergen challenge, while hexamethonium treatment reestablished bronchoconstriction induced by allergen challenge. Vagotomy resulted in a significant increase in the bronchoconstriction induced by O3 inhalation and subsequent challenge with allergen. In this model of O3 exacerbation of asthma, vagal C-fibers initiate reflex bronchoconstriction, vagal myelinated fibers initiate reflex bronchodilation, and mediators released within the airway initiate bronchoconstriction.
ozone; Der f 1; Brown-Norway rat; airway reactivity; vagus nerve
It is unknown how central neural activity produces the repetitive termination and restart of periodic breathing (PB). We hypothesized that inspiratory and expiratory neural activities would be greatest during the waxing phase and least during the waning phase. We analyzed diaphragmatic and medullary respiratory neural activities during PB in intact unanesthetized adult cats. Diaphragmatic activity was increased and phasic during the waxing phase and was decreased and tonic during the waning phase. Activity of expiratory (n=21) and inspiratory (n=40) neurons was generally increased and phasic during the waxing phase and was decreased and more tonic during the waning phase. During apneas associated with PB, diaphragmatic activity was silent and most, but not all, inspiratory cells were inactive whereas most expiratory cells decreased activity but remained tonically active. We suggest that reduced strength of reciprocal inhibition, secondary to reduced respiratory drive, allows for simultaneous tonic activity of inspiratory and expiratory neurons of the central pattern generator, ultimately resulting in central apnea.
altitude; Cheyne-Stokes respiration; apnea; diaphragm
The effects of brainstem α1 adrenergic receptor activation on respiratory control in reptiles are poorly understood. Isolated adult turtle brainstems were exposed to phenylephrine (α1 adrenergic agonist) and respiratory motor bursts were recorded on hypoglossal nerves. Phenylephrine acutely increased burst frequency, amplitude (low concentrations only), and regularity of the time interval between the start of respiratory events (single or clustered bursts), and decreased bursts/respiratory event. Burst frequency and timing changes persisted during a 2.0 h washout. Acute increases in burst frequency and amplitude were blocked by prazosin (α1 adrenergic antagonist). Pretreatment with prazosin and tropisetron (5-HT3 antagonist) blocked the increase in respiratory event regularity, but did not alter the decrease in bursts/respiratory event. Intermittent phenylephrine application (4 × 5.0 min separated by 20 min) did not produce long-lasting changes in burst frequency and amplitude, bursts/respiratory event, or respiratory event regularity. Thus, sustained α1 adrenergic receptor activation in turtle brainstems produces acute and long-lasting changes in respiratory burst frequency and pattern.
reptile; chelonian; turtle; episodic breathing; respiratory regularity; α1 adrenergic; 5-HT3
Aging, heart failure and diabetes each compromise the matching of O2 delivery (QO2)-to-metabolic requirements (O2 uptake, VO2) in skeletal muscle such that the O2 pressure driving blood-myocyte O2 flux (microvascular PO2, PmvO2) is reduced and contractile function impaired. In contrast, β-guanidinopropionic acid (β-GPA) treatment improves muscle contractile function, primarily in fast-twitch muscle (Moerland and Kushmerick, 1994). We tested the hypothesis that β-GPA (2% wt/BW in rat chow, 8 wk; n=14) would improve QO2-to-VO2 matching (elevated PmvO2) during contractions (4.5 V @ 1 Hz) in mixed (MG) and white (WG) portions of the gastrocnemius, both predominantly fast-twitch). Compared with control (CON), during contractions PmvO2fell less following β-GPA (MG -54%, WG -26%, p<0.05), elevating steady-state PmvO2 (CON, MG: 10±2, WG: 9±1; β-GPA, MG 16±2, WG 18±2 mmHg, P<0.05). This reflected an increased QO2/VO2 ratio due primarily to a reduced VO2 in β-GPA muscles. It is likely that this adaptation helps facilitate the β-GPA-induced enhancement of contractile function in fast-twitch muscles.
β-guanidinopropionic acid; microvascular O2 exchange; muscle fiber type; O2 extraction; phosphorescence quenching
A negative influence of central chemosensitivity on peripheral chemoreflex response has been demonstrated recently in a decerebrate-vagotomized rat preparation in situ with separate carotid body and brainstem perfusions. Here, we report similar negative influences of hypercapnia on the hypoxic respiratory response in anesthetized, spontaneously breathing rats before and after vagotomy and anesthetized, artificially ventilated rats after vagotomy. Baseline breathing patterns and responsiveness to hypercapnia and hypoxia varied widely between the three respiratory modes. Despite this, the responses in inspiratory amplitude and expiratory duration (and hence respiratory frequency and neural ventilation) to hypoxia varied inversely with the background CO2 level in all three groups. Results demonstrate a hypoadditive hypercapnic-hypoxic interaction in vivo that resembles the hypoadditive central-peripheral chemoreceptor interaction in situ for these respiratory variables in the rat, regardless of differences in vagal feedback, body temperature and ventilation method. These observations stand in contrast to previous reports of hyperadditive peripheral-central chemoreceptor interaction.
Peripheral chemoreceptor; Central chemoreceptor; Respiratory control; Hypercapnic-hypoxic interaction; Vagotomy
The respiratory system is continuously modulated by numerous aminergic and peptidergic substances that act at all levels of integration: from the sensory level to the level of central networks and motor nuclei. The same neuronal networks receive inputs from multiple modulators released locally as well as from distal nuclei. All parameters of respiratory control are controlled by multiple neuromodulators. By partly converging onto similar G-proteins and second messenger systems, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, histamine, serotonin (5-HT), dopamine, ATP, substance P, cholecystokinin (CCK) can increase frequency, regularity and amplitude of respiratory activity. Yet, the same modulator can also exert differential effects on respiratory activity by acting on different receptors partly in the same neurons. In the pre-Bötzinger complex (pre-BötC) modulators can differentially modulate frequency and amplitude in different types of pacemaker neurons. Similarly motoneurons located in different motor nuclei receive differential amplitude modulation from different modulators. Thus, modulators are capable of orchestrating and modulating different parameters of respiratory activity by differentially targeting different cellular targets. A disturbance in modulatory control may lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and erratic breathing.
Respiratory rhythm; pre-BötC; neuromodulator; 5-HT; norepinephrine; Substance P
Rapid intravenous saline infusion, a model meant to replicate the initial changes leading to pulmonary interstitial edema, increases pulmonary arterial pressure in humans. We hypothesized that this would alter lung perfusion distribution. Six healthy subjects (29±6 years) underwent magnetic resonance imaging to quantify perfusion using arterial spin labeling. Regional proton density was measured using a fast-gradient echo sequence, allowing blood delivered to the slice to be normalized for density and quantified in mL/min/g. Contributions from flow in large conduit vessels were minimized using a flow cut-off value (blood delivered > 35% maximum in mL/min/cm3) in order to obtain an estimate of blood delivered to the capillary bed (perfusion). Images were acquired supine at baseline, after infusion of 20 mL/kg saline, and after a short upright recovery period for a single sagittal slice in the right lung during breath-holds at functional residual capacity. Thoracic fluid content measured by impedance cardiography was elevated post-infusion by up to 13% (p<0.0001). Forced expiratory volume in one second was reduced by 5.1% post-20 mL/kg (p=0.007). Infusion increased perfusion in nondependent lung by up to 16% (6.4±1.6mL/min/g baseline, 7.3±1.8 post, 7.4±1.7 recovery, p=0.03). Including conduit vessels, blood delivered in dependent lung was unchanged post-infusion; however, was increased at recovery (9.4±2.7 mL/min/g baseline, 9.7±2.0 post, 11.3±2.2 recovery, p=0.01). After accounting for changes in conduit vessels, there were no significant changes in perfusion in dependent lung following infusion (1.5±0.5 mL/min/g baseline, 1.5±0.4 post, 1.6±0.5, p=0.72). There were no significant changes in lung density. These data suggest that saline infusion increased perfusion to nondependent lung, consistent with an increase in intravascular pressures. Dependent lung may have been “protected” from increases in perfusion following infusion due to gravitational compression of the pulmonary vasculature.
arterial spin labeling; magnetic resonance imaging; pulmonary interstitial edema
Rats reared in hyperoxia have smaller carotid bodies as adults. To study the time course and mechanisms underlying these changes, rats were reared in 60% O2 from birth and their carotid bodies were harvested at various postnatal ages (P0-P7, P14). The carotid bodies of hyperoxia-reared rats were smaller than those of age-matched controls beginning at P4. In contrast, 7 days of 60% O2 had no effect on carotid body size in rats exposed to hyperoxia as adults. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) were used to assess cell proliferation and DNA fragmentation at P2, P4, and P6. Hyperoxia reduced the proportion of glomus cells undergoing cell division at P4; although a similar trend was evident at P2, hyperoxia no longer affected cell proliferation by P6. The proportion of TUNEL-positive glomus cells was modestly increased by hyperoxia. We did not detect changes in mRNA expression for proapoptotic (Bax) or antiapoptotic (Bcl-XL) genes or transcription factors that regulate cell cycle checkpoints (p53 or p21), although mRNA levels for cyclin B1 and cyclin B2 were reduced. Collectively, these data indicate that hyperoxia primarily attenuates postnatal growth of the carotid body by inhibiting glomus cell proliferation during the first few days of exposure.
glomus cell; cell proliferation; developmental plasticity; control of breathing; gene expression
Most behaviors have numerous components based on reflexes, but the neural circuits driving most reflexes rarely are documented. The nasotrigeminal reflex induced by stimulating the nasal mucosa causes an apnea, a bradycardia, and variable changes in mean arterial blood pressure (MABP). In this study we tested the nasotrigeminal reflex after transecting the brainstem at the pontomedullary junction. The nasal mucosae of anesthetized rats were stimulated with ammonia vapors and their brainstems then were transected. Complete transections alone induced an increase in resting heart rate (HR; p < 0.001) and MABP (p < 0.001), but no significant change in ventilation. However, the responses to nasal stimulation after transection were similar to those seen prior to transection. HR still dropped significantly (p < 0.001), duration of apnea remained the same, as did changes in MABP. Results from rats whose transection were incomplete are discussed. These data implicate that the neuronal circuitry driving the nasotrigeminal reflex, and indirectly the diving response, is intrinsic to the medulla and spinal cord.
diving response; cardiovascular; respiration; heart rate; medulla; SIDS
We investigated whether spinalized animals can produce inspiratory rhythm. We recorded spinal inspiratory phrenic (PNA) and cranial inspiratory hypoglossal (HNA) nerve activity in the perfused brainstem preparation of rat. Complete transverse transections were performed at 1.5 (pyramidal decussation) or 2 mm (first cervical spinal segment) caudal to obex. Excitatory drive was enhanced by either extracellular potassium, hypercapnia or by stimulating arterial chemoreceptors. Caudal transections immediately eliminated descending network drive for PNA, while the cranial inspiratory HNA remained unaffected. After transection, PNA bursting remained sporadic even during enhanced excitatory drive. This implies, cervical spinal circuits lack intrinsic rhythmogenic capacity. Rostral transections also abolished PNA immediately. However, HNA also progressively lost its amplitude and rhythm. Chemoreceptor activation only triggered tonic, non-rhythmic HNA. Thus the integrity of ponto-medullary circuitry was maintained. Our results suggest that an area overlapping the caudal nucleus retroambiguus provides critical ascending input to the ponto-medullary respiratory network for inspiratory rhythm generation.
nucleus retroambiguus; respiratory rhythm generation; spinal cord
Isolated in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparations are used extensively in respiratory neurobiology because the respiratory network in the pons and medulla is intact, monosynaptic descending inputs to spinal motoneurons can be activated, brainstem and spinal cord tissue can be bathed with different solutions, and the responses of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal motoneurons to experimental perturbations can be compared. The caveats and limitations of in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparations are well-documented. However, isolated brainstem-spinal cords are still valuable experimental preparations that can be used to study neuronal connectivity within the brainstem, development of motor networks with lethal genetic mutations, deleterious effects of pathological drugs and conditions, respiratory spinal motor plasticity, and interactions with other motor behaviors. Our goal is to show how isolated brainstem-spinal cord preparations still have a lot to offer scientifically and experimentally to address questions within and outside the field of respiratory neurobiology.
Hypothyroidism can depress breathing and alter dopamine D2 receptor expression and function. We hypothesized that relative to euthyroid hamsters (EH), hypothyroid hamsters (HH) contain increased D2 receptors in brain regions associated with breathing and carotid bodies (CB), and that stimulation of D2 receptors would decease ventilation more in the HH compared to the EH. Hamsters were treated with vehicle, carmoxirile (peripherally acting D2 receptor agonist), or bromocriptine (central and peripherally acting D2 receptor agonist) and breathing was evaluated during exposure to air, hypoxia, and then air. HH exhibited increased D2 receptor protein levels in the striatum and CB’s, but decreased levels in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Relative to vehicle, carmoxirole and bromocriptine stimulated ventilation in the HH during and following exposure to hypoxia. Only bromocriptine depressed ventilation in the EH during and after exposure to hypoxia. Thus,, hypothyroidism impacts the expression of D2 receptors in the carotid body, PVN and striatum, and D2 stimulation affects ventilation remarkably differently than in EH.
Hypothyroidism; Dopamine D2 receptors; Hypoxia; Ventilation