Morphology and Location of Electrophysiologically Identified Sensory Airway Receptors
Technical and methodological limitations prevent direct measurements and manipulation of individual intrapulmonary sensory airway receptors, forcing lung physiologists to make indirect interpretations of the events that occur at the level of the (sensory) receptor endings. Recent reviews described at least six subtypes of vagal sensory airway receptors, including SARs, RARs, bronchial and pulmonary CFRs, HTARs and cough receptors (Widdicombe 2009). Knowledge of the characteristics of intrapulmonary sensory receptor morphology is, however, crucial because the behaviour of sensory units largely depends on it. To allow for reproducible location and morphological identification of the distinct populations of electrophysiologically identified airway receptors, the neurochemical characteristics of afferent nerve terminals need to be determined, and likely will turn out to be essential to (finally) define the actual targets of the many subpopulations of airway-related vagal afferents (Yu 2009).
KeywordsAirway Smooth Muscle Afferent Nerve Terminal Complex Terminal Smooth Muscle Bundle Neurochemical Characteristic
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