The Effects of Changes in Arterial Pressure on Sinus Nerve Efferent Activity

  • P. Willshaw
  • S. Majcherczyk
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 99)


The carotid body is a peripheral arterial chemoreceptor which senses arterial blood pH, PC0 2 and P0 2. Neuronal activity from the carotid body is conveyed to the central nervous system by the carotid sinus nerve, a branch of the ninth cranial nerve. In 1968 Biscoe and Sampson1 recorded neuronal activity from the central end of the sinus nerve. This activity was of two types. The first type displayed a respiratory rhythm in firing rate and was shown to arise from the sympathetic nervous system via the superior cervical ganglion. The second type appeared to originate directly from the central nervous system and displayed a random firing pattern. This second type of activity is termed sinus nerve efferent activity, and has been shown by Sampson and Biscoe2 and by Neil and O’Regan3, 4 to be capable of inhibiting carotid chemoreceptor afferent activity. We have investigated the response of sinus nerve efferent activity to changes in systemic arterial pressure induced passively by bleeding and by reinfusion of the animal’s own blood. Some of these results have been presented to the Physiological Society5.


Arterial Pressure Carotid Body Superior Cervical Ganglion Systemic Arterial Pressure Ninth Cranial Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Willshaw
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Majcherczyk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Sherrington School of PhysiologySt. Thomas’ HospitalEngland
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyWarsaw Medical AcademyWarsawPoland

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