Cranial Nerve and Phrenic Respiratory Rhythmicity during Changes in Chemical Stimuli in the Anesthetized Rat

  • Yasuichiro Fukuda


Central respiratory rhythmicity and/or timing has been determined by the trajectory of phrenic (Phr) nerve discharges. Cranial nerves innervating the upper airway muscles also display respiratory modulated activity synchronized with Phr activity. These cranial nerve motoneurons as well as spinal Phr motoneurons (or Phr driving medullary pre-motor neurons) are driven by a common rhythm generating mechanism. There are, however, significant differences in the discharge pattern and responses to chemical stimuli between Phr and cranial nerve respiratory activity1. The onset of inspiratory activity of the cranial nerves is much earlier than that of Phr nerve2, 3, 4. Changes in chemical stimuli (Pao2, Paco2) initiate differential effects on I activity among various respiratory nerves, including Phr and cranial nerves3, 5, 6, 7. On the other hand, cranial nerve respiratory activities are sensitive to anesthesia and/or sleep stage, and hence have not been considered as major output signals for observation of central respiratory rhythmicity8, 9, 10. In the present experiment we found that the glossopharyngeal (IX) nerve I activity showed much smaller suppression during hypocapnia or hypoxia than the Phr I discharge did. Furthermore a small ramp-like rhythmic IX activity even without Phr burst was seen during hypocapnic or hypoxic respiratory suppression.


Cranial Nerve Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Phrenic Nerve Chemical Stimulus Carotid Sinus Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuichiro Fukuda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology II, School of MedicineChiba UniversityChibaJapan

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