Respiratory Modulation of Cardiovascular Responses to Stimulation of Carotid Chemoreceptors and Other Receptors

  • M. de Burgh Daly


The reflex regulation of respiration by the carotid and aortic body chemoreceptors has been extensively reviewed (Heymans and Neil, 1958). The peripheral arterial chemoreceptors are also concerned with the regulation of the cardiovascular system, but the way this is achieved is complex, largely because of the integrative nature of the mechanisms controlling the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Thus, the observed changes in heart rate, cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance resulting from excitation of the carotid or aortic bodies are due, on the one hand, to direct or primary reflex effects of stimulation of the chemoreceptors themselves and, on the other, to secondary effects on the circulation occurring as a result of the concomitant changes in pulmonary ventilation (Daly, 1983, 1986). Furthermore, in any disturbance of the circulation in which the peripheral arterial chemoi;eceptors are involved, it is inevitable that several other groups of receptors with different reflex functions will be affected simultaneously. The pattern of autonomic effector activity that results, however, is not necessarily due to the algebraic summation of individual effector outputs from specific groups of receptors. This is because the effectiveness of incoming receptor impulses can be influenced centrally by changes in respiration (Spyer, 1982, 1984; Daly, 1983, 1986) and activity of the hypothalamic defence area (Spyer, 1984; Marshall, 1986). Thus, the observed response pattern to excitation of a sensory input will be determined by mechanisms arising from the direction and magnitude of the accompanying change in pulmonary ventilation. These respiratory mechanisms include alterations in central respiratory neuronal activity, activity of slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors, and the level of the arterial PCO2. They can modify the autonomic outflow directly and by modifying centrally the effectiveness of reflex responses engendered by excitation of specific groups of receptors, including the peripheral chemoreceptors.


Carotid Body Pulmonary Ventilation Lung Inflation Arterial Baroreflex Total Peripheral Vascular Resistance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. de Burgh Daly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyRoyal Free Hospital School of MedicineLondonUK

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