Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 365, Issue 1, pp 69–75 | Cite as

Metabolic control of respiratory neuronal activity and the accompanying changes in breathing movements of the rabbit

III. Phase shifts in respiratory neurons induced by inflation and collapse of the lung, hyperventilation, or metabolic modifiers
  • H. R. O. Dinse
  • M. Fallert
  • G. Böhmer
  • R. A. Chaplain


Phase shifts between inspiratory-related and expiratory-related discharge patterns can be reversibly induced in respiratory neurons following volume changes of the lung, hypocapnic apnea as a result of hyperventilation, or supefusion with certain metabolic modifiers. Phase-spanning expiratory-inspiratory or inspiratory-expiratory discharges are frequently induced in those neurons which are activated either by pulmonary stretch receptors or collapse afferents. The same is true for regulatory effects which activate key steps of the neuronal metabolism such as ADP, 3-phosphoglycerate,l-glutamine, fructose-6-phosphate and fructose-1,6-diphosphate. In contrast, inhibitory vagal inputs or superfusion with citrate, an inhibitory metabolic modifier, revert preexisting expiratory-inspiratory discharges into a phase-coupled inspiratory pattern. It is postulated that the respiratory neuronal network represents a time-optimal control system which strives to adjust to a new equilibrium value in a minimum of time, following a given mechanical or chemical perturbation. Following the hypothesis advanced by Cohen (1974) that the phase-spanning units modulate the activity of the inphase neurons, it is suggested that the additional recruitment of expiratory-inspiratory and inspiratory-expiratory units provides a measure of the quality of time-optimal control and hence a performance index of the system.

Key words

Respiratory neurons Neuronal discharge pattern Lung volume changes Hyperventilation Metabolic modifiers 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. R. O. Dinse
    • 1
  • M. Fallert
    • 1
  • G. Böhmer
    • 1
  • R. A. Chaplain
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches Institut der Universität MainzMainzGermany

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