The current study tested the hypothesis that modification in central hemodynamics during short-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) application was accompanied by altered firing patterns of sympathetic nerve activity in CHF patients and healthy subjects.
Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), hemodynamic and ventilatory parameters were obtained from 8 healthy middle aged subjects and 7 CHF patients. Action potentials (APs) were extracted from MSNA neurograms, quantified as AP frequency and classified into different sized clusters. While on CPAP at 10 cm H2O, multi-unit MSNA, AP frequency and mean burst area/min increased in healthy middle aged subjects (p < 0.05) whereas CPAP had no effect on these variables in CHF patients. In conclusion, the impact of CPAP on central hemodynamics in healthy individuals elicited a moderate activation of sympathetic neurons through increased AP firing frequency, whereas in CHF patients both hemodynamics and MSNA remained unaltered.
Action potential detection; Microneurography; End-expiratory positive pressure; Human
We hypothesize that isoflurane and ketamine impact ventilatory pattern variability (VPV) differently. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were recorded in a whole-body plethysmograph before, during and after deep anesthesia. VPV was quantified from 60-s epochs using a complementary set of analytic techniques that included constructing surrogate data sets that preserved the linear structure but disrupted nonlinear deterministic properties of the original data. Even though isoflurane decreased and ketamine increased respiratory rate, VPV as quantified by the coefficient of variation decreased for both anesthetics. Further, mutual information increased and sample entropy decreased and the nonlinear complexity index (NLCI) increased during anesthesia despite qualitative differences in the shape and period of the waveform. Surprisingly mutual information and sample entropy did not change in the surrogate sets constructed from isoflurane data, but in those constructed from ketamine data, mutual information increased and sample entropy decreased significantly in the surrogate segments constructed from anesthetized relative to unanesthetized epochs. These data suggest that separate mechanisms modulate linear and nonlinear variability of breathing.
The aim of this study was to compare the ventilatory responses of C57BL6 female and male mice during a 15 min exposure to a hypoxic-hypercapnic (H-H) or a hypoxic (10% O2, 90% N2) challenge and subsequent return to room air. The ventilatory responses to H-H were similar in males and females whereas there were pronounced gender differences in the ventilatory responses during and following hypoxic challenge. In males, the hypoxic response included initial increases in minute volume via increases in tidal volume and frequency of breathing. These responses declined substantially (roll-off) during hypoxic exposure. Upon return to room-air, relatively sustained increases in these ventilatory parameters (short-term potentiation) were observed. In females, the initial responses to hypoxia were similar to those in males whereas roll-off was greater and post-hypoxia facilitation was smaller than in males. The marked differences in ventilatory roll-off and post-hypoxia facilitation between female and male C57BL6 mice provide evidence that gender is of vital importance to ventilatory control.
Hypoxia; hypercapnia; minute ventilation; male and female mice
Exposure to a hypoxic challenge increases ventilation in wild-type (WT) mice that diminish during the challenge (roll-off) whereas return to room air causes an increase in ventilation (short-term facilitation, STF). Since plasma and tissue levels of ventilatory excitant S-nitrosothiols such as S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) increase during hypoxia, this study examined whether (1) the initial increase in ventilation is due to generation of GSNO, (2) roll-off is due to increased activity of the GSNO degrading enzyme, GSNO reductase (GSNOR), and (3) STF is limited by GSNOR activity. Initial ventilatory responses to hypoxic challenge (10% O2, 90% N2) were similar in WT, GSNO+/− and GSNO−/− mice. These responses diminished markedly during hypoxic challenge in WT mice whereas there was minimal roll-off in GSNOR+/− and GSNOR−/− mice. Finally, STF was greater in GSNOR+/− and GSNOR−/− mice than WT mice (especially females). This study suggests that GSNOR degradation of GSNO is a vital step in the expression of ventilatory roll-off and that GSNOR suppresses STF.
hypoxia; ventilatory responses; S-nitrosoglutathione reductase; S-nitrosothiols; mice
Neuromodulators, such as amines and neuropeptides, alter the activity of neurons and neuronal networks. In this work, we investigate how neuromodulators, which activate Gq-protein second messenger systems, can modulate the bursting frequency of neurons in a critical portion of the respiratory neural network, the pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC). These neurons are a vital part of the ponto-medullary neuronal network, which generates a stable respiratory rhythm whose frequency is regulated by neuromodulator release from the nearby Raphe nucleus. Using a simulated 50-cell network of excitatory preBötC neurons with a heterogeneous distribution of persistent sodium conductance and Ca2+, we determined conditions for frequency modulation in such a network by simulating interaction between Raphe and preBötC nuclei. We found that the positive feedback between the Raphe excitability and preBötC activity induces frequency modulation in the preBötC neurons. In addition, the frequency of the respiratory rhythm can be regulated via phasic release of excitatory neuromodulators from the Raphe nucleus. We predict that the application of a Gq antagonist will eliminate this frequency modulation by the Raphe and keep the network frequency constant and low. In contrast, application of a Gq agonist will result in a high frequency for all levels of Raphe stimulation. Our modeling results also suggest that high [K+] requirement in respiratory brain slice experiments may serve as a compensatory mechanism for low neuromodulatory tone.
Central pattern generator; Endogenous bursting; Pre-Bötzinger complex; preBötC
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin (EPO) exert neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects in the CNS. We recently demonstrated that VEGF, EPO and their receptors (VEGF-R2, EPO-R) are expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and that cervical spinal VEGF-R2 and EPO-R activation elicit long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation (pMF). Since VEGF, VEGF-R, EPO, and EPO-R are hypoxia-regulated genes, and repetitive exposure to acute intermittent hypoxia (rAIH) up-regulates these molecules in phrenic motor neurons, we tested the hypothesis that 4 weeks of rAIH (10 episodes per day, 3 days per week) enhances VEGF- or EPO- induced pMF. We confirm that cervical spinal VEGF and EPO injections elicit pMF. However, neither VEGF- nor EPO-induced pMF was affected by rAIH pre-conditioning (4 wks). Although our data confirm that spinal VEGF and EPO may play an important role in respiratory plasticity, we provide no evidence that rAIH amplifies their impact. Further experiments with more robust protocols are warranted.
VEGF; EPO; phrenic motor facilitation; intermittent hypoxia; respiratory plasticity; spinal cord
Recurrent apnea with intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a major clinical problem in infants born preterm. Carotid body chemo-reflex and catecholamine secretion from adrenal medullary chromaffin cells (AMC) are important for maintenance of cardio-respiratory homeostasis during hypoxia. This article highlights studies on the effects of IH on O2 sensing by the carotid body and AMC in neonatal rodents. Neonatal IH augments hypoxia-evoked carotid body sensory excitation and catecholamine secretion from AMC which are mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent recruitment of endothelin-1 and Ca2+ signaling, respectively. The effects of neonatal IH persist into adulthood. Evidence is emerging that neonatal IH initiates epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA hypermethylation contributing to long-lasting increase in ROS levels. Since adult human subjects born preterm exhibit higher incidence of sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension, DNA hypomethylating agents might offer a novel therapeutic intervention to decrease long-term cardio-respiratory morbidity caused by neonatal IH.
Apnea of prematurity; Cardio-respiratory morbidities; DNA methylation; Histone modifications; Exocytosis; Neurotransmitters/modulators; Oxidative stress
Recently, we reported that dyspnea on exertion is strongly associated with an increased oxygen cost of breathing in otherwise healthy obese women; the mechanism of dyspnea on exertion in obese men is unknown. Obese men underwent measurements of body composition, fat distribution, pulmonary function, steady state and maximal graded cycle ergometry, and oxygen cost of breathing. Nine men (34±8yr, 35±4 BMI) with ratings of perceived breathlessness of ≤ 2 during cycling, and ten men (36±9yr, 38±5 BMI) with ratings of perceived breathlessness ≥ 4 were studied (ratings of perceived breathlessness: 1.8±0.4 vs. 4.7±0.8, respectively; p<0.0001). Groups had only minor differences in fat distribution, pulmonary function, and steady state exercise. There was no association between ratings of perceived breathlessness and oxygen cost of breathing; but ratings of perceived breathlessness was strongly correlated with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE, rho=0.87, p<0.0001). The differences in exercise intensity, ventilatory demand, cardiovascular conditioning and/or the quality of respiratory sensation did not appear to play a role in the development of dyspnea on exertion. The mechanism of dyspnea on exertion in obese men seems unrelated to the oxygen cost of breathing.
Obesity; Exercise; Oxygen cost of breathing; Breathlessness
Both obesity and sleep reduce lung volume and limit deep breaths, possibly contributing to asthma. We hypothesize that increasing lung volume dynamically during sleep would reduce airway resistance in asthma. Asthma (n=10) and control (n=10) subjects were studied during sleep at baseline and with increased lung volume via bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP). Using forced oscillations, respiratory system resistance (Rrs) and reactance (Xrs) were measured during sleep and Rrs was partitioned to upper and lower airway resistance (Rup, Rlow) using an epiglottic pressure catheter. Rrs and Rup increased with sleep (p<0.01) and Xrs was decreased in REM (p=0.02) as compared to wake. Rrs, Rup, and Rlow, were larger (p<0.01) and Xrs was decreased (p<0.02) in asthma. On BPAP, Rrs and Rup were decreased (p<0.001) and Xrs increased (p<0.01), but Rlow was unchanged. High Rup was observed in asthma, which reduced with BPAP. We conclude that the upper airway is a major component of Rrs and larger lung volume changes may be required to alter Rlow.
BPAP; forced oscillation technique; airway resistance; lung
The explanted lung slice has become a popular in vitro system for studying how airways contract. Because the forces of airway-parenchymal interdependence are such important modulators of airway narrowing, it is of significant interest to understand how the parenchyma around a constricting airway in a lung slice behaves. We have previously shown that the predictions of the 2-dimensional distortion field around a constricting airway are substantially different depending on whether the parenchyma is modeled as an elastic continuum versus a network of hexagonally arranged springs, which raises the question as to which model best explains the lung slice. We treated lung slices with methacholine and then followed the movement of a set of parenchymal landmarks around the airway as it narrowed. The resulting parenchymal displacement field was compared to the displacement fields predicted by the continuum and hexagonal spring network models. The predictions of the continuum model were much closer to the measured data than were those of the hexagonal spring network model, suggesting that the parenchyma in the lung slice behaves like an elastic continuum rather than a network of discrete springs. This may be because the alveoli of the lung slice are filled with agarose in order to provide structural stability, causing the parenchyma in the slice to act like a true mechanical continuum. How the air-filled parenchyma in the intact lung behave in vivo remains an open question.
continuum model; spring network model; finite element method; parenchymal strain field
We hypothesized that diaphragm muscle (DIAm) by a shift in the EMG power spectral density (PSD) to higher frequencies reflects recruitment of more fatigable fast-twitch motor units and motor unit recruitment is reflected by EMG non-stationarity. DIAm EMG was recorded in anesthetized rats during eupnea, hypoxia-hypercapnia (10% O2-5% CO2), airway occlusion, and sneezing (maximal DIAm force). Although power in all frequency bands increased progressively across motor behaviors, PSD centroid frequency increased only during sneezing (p<0.05). The non-stationary period at the onset of EMG activity ranged from ~70 ms during airway occlusion to ~150 ms during eupnea. Within the initial non-stationary period of EMG activity 80–95% of motor units were recruited during different motor behaviors. Motor units augmented their discharge frequencies progressively beyond the non-stationary period; yet, EMG signal became stationary. In conclusion, non-stationarity of DIAm EMG reflects the period of motor unit recruitment, while a shift in the PSD towards higher frequencies reflects recruitment of more fatigable fast-twitch motor units.
Motor Unit Recruitment; Power Spectrum; Diaphragm Muscle; Stationarity; Electromyography; Neuromotor Control
We investigated whether the perifornical-lateral hypothalamic area (PF-LHA), where the orexin neurons reside, is a central chemoreceptor site by microdialysis of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) equilibrated with 25% CO2 into PF-LHA in conscious rats. This treatment is known to produce a focal tissue acidification like that associated with a 6 to 7 mm Hg increase in arterial P CO2. Such focal acidification in the PF-LHA significantly increased ventilation up to 15% compared with microdialysis of normal aCSF equilibrated with 5% CO2 only in wakefulness but not in sleep in both the dark (P=0.004) and light (P<0.001) phases of the diurnal cycle. This response was predominantly due to a significant increase in respiratory frequency (11%, P< 0.001). There were no significant effects on ventilation in the group with probes misplaced outside the PF-LHA. These results suggest that PF-LHA functions as a central chemoreceptor site in the central nervous system in a vigilant state dependent manner with predominant effects in wakefulness.
perifornical-lateral hypothalamus; central chemoreception; orexin
In a study visualizing ventilation with hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in elite breath hold divers, the dynamic MRI images in one subject exhibited an apparent alternation of the image intensity between left and right lung. We hypothesized that the alternation resulted from alternating variations in inspiratory flow rate to left and right lungs. Analysis showed the alternation was not due to random uncorrelated temporal fluctuations of intensity (p < 0.001). The frequency of alternation was approximately 56 min−1, suggesting a cardiac origin. Similar alternation of ventilation was confirmed retrospectively in 4 of 6 additional subjects. These observations are consistent with previous studies showing cardiogenic mixing of gas in the lung. We speculate that cardiogenic pendelluft, possibly from ballistic lateral motion of the beating heart, could cause alternating variations of inspiratory flow to the lungs.
pulmonary ventilation; magnetic resonance imaging; hyperpolarized helium; cardiogenic mixing
•Real time detection of cyclical atelectasis is fundamental for individualised mechanical-ventilation therapy in ARDS.•Intra-arterial oxygen sensors could be used to detect the breath-by-breath oscillations in PO2 during cyclical atelectasis.•The fidelity with which oxygen sensors can detect these arterial PO2 oscillations depends on the sensors’ speed of response.•We present a system for testing fast-response fibre optic oxygen sensors under simulated conditions of cyclical atelectasis.•We show that a prototype fibre optic oxygen sensor, compatible with clinical use, can detect rapid PO2 changes in vitro.
Two challenges in the management of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome are the difficulty in diagnosing cyclical atelectasis, and in individualising mechanical ventilation therapy in real-time. Commercial optical oxygen sensors can detect PaO2 oscillations associated with cyclical atelectasis, but are not accurate at saturation levels below 90%, and contain a toxic fluorophore. We present a computer-controlled test rig, together with an in-house constructed ultra-rapid sensor to test the limitations of these sensors when exposed to rapidly changing PO2 in blood in vitro. We tested the sensors’ responses to simulated respiratory rates between 10 and 60 breaths per minute. Our sensor was able to detect the whole amplitude of the imposed PO2 oscillations, even at the highest respiratory rate. We also examined our sensor's resistance to clot formation by continuous in vivo deployment in non-heparinised flowing animal blood for 24 h, after which no adsorption of organic material on the sensor's surface was detectable by scanning electron microscopy.
Optical PO2 sensor; Cyclical atelectasis simulation; Cross-over computer control system
Mice are the most suitable species for understanding genetic aspects of postnatal developments of the carotid body due to the availability of many inbred strains and knockout mice. Our study has shown that the carotid body grows differentially in different mouse strains, indicating the involvement of genes. However, the small size hampers investigating functional development of the carotid body. Hypoxic and/or hyperoxic ventilatory responses have been investigated in newborn mice, but these responses are indirect assessment of the carotid body function. Therefore, we need to develop techniques of measuring carotid chemoreceptor neural activity from young mice. Many studies have taken advantage of the knockout mice to understand chemoreceptor function of the carotid body, but they are not always suitable for addressing postnatal development of the carotid body due to lethality during perinatal periods. Various inbred strains with well-designed experiments will provide useful information regarding genetic mechanisms of the postnatal carotid chemoreceptor development. Also, targeted gene deletion is a critical approach.
breathing; carotid sinus nerve; gene; hypoxia; inbred; outbred
Preterm infants often experience hyperoxia while receiving supplemental oxygen. Prolonged exposure to hyperoxia during development is associated with pathologies such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and retinopathy of prematurity. Over the last 25 years, however, experiments with animal models have revealed that moderate exposures to hyperoxia (e.g., 30–60% O2 for days to weeks) can also have profound effects on the developing respiratory control system that may lead to hypoventilation and diminished responses to acute hypoxia. This plasticity, which is generally inducible only during critical periods of development, has a complex time course that includes both transient and permanent respiratory deficits. Although the molecular mechanisms of hyperoxia-induced plasticity are only beginning to be elucidated, it is clear that many of the respiratory effects are linked to abnormal morphological and functional development of the carotid body, the principal site of arterial O2 chemoreception for respiratory control. Specifically, developmental hyperoxia reduces carotid body size, decreases the number of chemoafferent neurons, and (at least transiently) diminishes the O2 sensitivity of individual carotid body glomus cells. Recent evidence suggests that hyperoxia may also directly or indirectly impact development of central neural control of breathing. Collectively, these findings emphasize the vulnerability of the developing respiratory control system to environmental perturbations.
developmental plasticity; control of breathing; hypoxic ventilatory response; hypoplasia; carotid body growth; O2 therapy
Arousal from sleep is a major defense mechanism in infants against hypoxia and/or hypercapnia. Arousal failure may be an important contributor to SIDS. Areas of the brainstem that have been found to be abnormal in a majority of SIDS infants are involved in the arousal process. Arousal is sleep state dependent, being depressed during AS in most mammals, but depressed during QS in human infants. Repeated exposure to hypoxia causes a progressive blunting of arousal that may involve medullary raphe GABAergic mechanisms. Whereas CB chemoreceptors contribute heavily to arousal in response to hypoxia, serotonergic central chemoreceptors have been implicated in the arousal response to CO2. Pulmonary or chest wall mechanoreceptors also contribute to arousal in proportion to the ventilatory response and decreases in their input may contribute to depressed arousal during AS. Little is known about specific arousal pathways beyond the NTS. Whether CB chemoreceptor stimulation directly stimulates arousal centers or whether this is done indirectly through respiratory networks remains unknown. This review will focus on arousal in response to hypoxia and CO2 in the fetus and newborn and will outline what we know (and don’t know) about the involvement of the carotid body in this process.
Arousal; carotid body; newborn; fetus; sleep
Respiratory control entails coordinated activities of peripheral chemoreceptors (mainly the carotid bodies) and central chemosensors within the brain stem respiratory network. Candidates for central chemoreceptors include Phox2b-containing neurons of the retrotrapezoid nucleus, serotonergic neurons of the medullary raphé, and/or multiple sites within the brain stem. Extensive interconnections among respiratory-related nuclei enable central chemosensitive relay. Both peripheral and central respiratory centers are not mature at birth, but undergo considerable development during the first two postnatal weeks in rats. A critical period of respiratory development (~P12–13 in the rat) exists when abrupt neurochemical, metabolic, ventilatory, and electrophysiological changes occur. Environmental perturbations, including hypoxia, intermittent hypoxia, hypercapnia, and hyperoxia alter the development of the respiratory system. Carotid body denervation during the first two postnatal weeks in the rat profoundly affects the development and functions of central respiratory-related nuclei. Such denervation delays and prolongs the critical period, but does not eliminate it, suggesting that the critical period may be intrinsically and genetically determined.
Carotid body; medullary raphé nuclei; nucleus tractus solitarius; pre-Bötzinger complex; retrotrapezoid nucleus/parafacial respiratory group; ventrolateral medulla
Vertebrate carotid bodies and related structures (branchial arch oxygen chemoreceptors in fishes, carotid labyrinth in amphibians, chemoreceptors in the wall of the common carotid and its branches in birds) develop in embryos when neural crest cells, blood vessels, and nerve fibers from sympathetic and cranial nerve ganglia invade mesenchymal primordia in the wall of the 3rd branchial arch. This review focuses on literature published since the 1970’s investigating similarities and differences in the embryological development of 3rd arch oxygen chemoreceptors, especially between mammals and birds, but also considering reptiles, amphibians and fishes.
branchial arch; neural crest; carotid body
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is highly prevalent sleep disorder of breathing in both adults and children that is fraught with substantial cardiovascular morbidities, the latter being attributable to a complex interplay between intermittent hypoxia (IH), episodic hypercapnia, recurrent large intra-thoracic pressure swings, and sleep disruption. Alterations in autonomic nervous system function could underlie the perturbations in cardiovascular, neurocognitive, immune, endocrine and metabolic functions that affect many of the patients suffering from OSA. Although these issues have received substantial attention in adults, the same has thus far failed to occur in children, creating a quasi misperception that children are protected. Here, we provide a critical overview of the evidence supporting the presence of autonomic nervous system (ANS) perturbations in children with OSA, draw some parallel assessments to known mechanisms in rodents and adult humans, particularly, peripheral and central chemoreceptor and baroreceptor pathways, and suggest future research directions.
Obstructive sleep apnea; autonomic nervous system; peripheral chemoreceptors; carotid body; brainstem; catecholamines; sympathetic; vagus; parasympathetic; pulse transit time; tonometry; sleep fragmentation; hypoxia
Carotid body chemoreceptors increase their action potential (AP) activity in response to a decrease in arterial oxygen tension and this response increases in the post-natal period. The initial transduction site is likely the glomus cell which responds to hypoxia with an increase in intracellular calcium and secretion of multiple neurotransmitters. Translation of this secretion to AP spiking levels is determined by the excitability of the afferent nerve terminals that is largely determined by the voltage-dependence of activation of Na+ channels. In this review, we examine the biophysical characteristics of Na+ channels present at the soma of chemoreceptor afferent neurons with the assumption that similar channels are present at nerve terminals. The voltage dependence of this current is consistent with a single Na+ channel isoform with activation around the resting potential and with about 60-70% of channels in the inactive state around the resting potential. Channel openings, due to transitions from inactive/open or closed/open states, may serve to amplify external depolarizing events or generate, by themselves, APs. Over the first two post-natal weeks, the Na+ channel activation voltage shifts to more negative potentials, thus enhancing the amplifying action of Na+ channels on depolarization events and increasing membrane noise generated by channel transitions. This may be a significant contributor to maturation of chemoreceptor activity in the post-natal period.
Carotid body; Na+ channel; post-natal maturation; action potential
Carotid body (CB) chemoreceptors transduce low arterial O2 tension into increased action potential activity on the carotid sinus nerves, which contributes to resting ventilatory drive, increased ventilatory drive in response to hypoxia, arousal responses to hypoxia during sleep, upper airway muscle activity, blood pressure control and sympathetic tone. Their sensitivity to O2 is low in the newborn and increases during the days or weeks after birth to reach adult levels. This postnatal functional maturation of the CB O2 response has been termed “resetting” and it occurs in every mammalian species studied to date. The O2 environment appears to play a key role; the fetus develops in a low O2 environment throughout gestation and initiation of CB “resetting” after birth is modulated by the large increase in arterial oxygen tension occurring at birth. Although numerous studies have reported age-related changes in various components of the O2 transduction cascade, how the O2 environment shapes normal CB prenatal development and postnatal “resetting” remains unknown. Viewing CB “resetting” as environment-driven (developmental) phenotypic plasticity raises important mechanistic questions that have received little attention. This review examines what is known (and not known) about mechanisms of CB functional maturation, with a focus on the role of the O2 environment.
carotid body; development; O2 sensing; hypoxia; hypoxia inducible factor; developmental plasticity
Progesterone and corticosterone are key modulators of the respiratory control system. While progesterone is widely recognized as an important respiratory stimulant in adult and newborn animals, much remains to be described regarding the underlying mechanisms. We review the potential implication of nuclear and membrane progesterone receptors in adults and in newborns. This raises intriguing questions regarding the contribution of progesterone as a protective factor against some respiratory control disorders during early life. We then discuss our current understanding of the central integration of stressful stimuli and the responses they elicit. The fact that this system interacts with the respiratory control system, either because both share some common neural pathways in the brainstem and hypothalamus, or because corticosterone directly modulates the function of the respiratory control network, is a fascinating field of research that has emerged over the past few years. Finally, we review the short- and long-term consequences of disruption of stress circuitry during postnatal development on these systems.
PMID: 22781657 CAMSID: cams3223
Sex; Hormones; Stress; Progesterone; Corticosterone
This prospective case-controlled clinical study was undertaken to investigate to what extent the manually assisted treadmill stepping Locomotor Training with body weight support (LT) can change respiratory function in individuals with chronic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Pulmonary function outcomes (Forced Vital Capacity /FVC/, Forced Expiratory Volume one second /FEV1/, Maximum Inspiratory Pressure /PImax/, Maximum Expiratory Pressure /PEmax/) and surface electromyographic (sEMG) measures of respiratory muscles activity during respiratory taskswere obtained from eight individuals with chronic C3-T12 SCI before and after 62±10 (Mean ± SD) sessions of the LT. FVC, FEV1, PImax, PEmax, amount of overall sEMG activity and rate of motor unit recruitment were significantly increased after LT (p<0.05) These results suggest that these improvements induced by the LT are likely the result of neuroplastic changes in spinal neural circuitry responsible for the activation of respiratory muscles preserved after injury.
Spinal Cord Injury; Respiratory Function; Motor Control; Locomotor Training
Laryngeal chemoreflex (LCR) apnea occurs in infant mammals of many species in response to water or other liquids in the laryngeal lumen. The apnea can last for many seconds, sometimes leading to dangerous hypoxemia, and has therefore been considered as a possible mechanism in the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). We have found recently that this reflex is markedly prolonged in decerebrate piglets and anesthetized rat pups that are warmed 1–3 °C above their normal body temperatures. We intermittently exposed pregnant rats to cigarette smoke and examined the LCR in their four- to fifteen-day-old offspring under general anesthesia, with and without whole body warming. During warming, pups of gestationally smoke-exposed dams had significantly longer LCR-induced respiratory disruption than similarly warmed control pups. The results may be significant for the pathogenesis and/or prevention of SIDS as maternal cigarette smoking during human pregnancy and heat stress in infants are known risk factors for SIDS.
Cigarette smoke; Pregnancy; Neonatal rats; Hyperthermia; Laryngeal chemoreflex; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome