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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2013 May 15;114(10):1388-95. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00018.2013. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Inactivity-induced phrenic and hypoglossal motor facilitation are differentially expressed following intermittent vs. sustained neural apnea.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.


Reduced respiratory neural activity elicits a rebound increase in phrenic and hypoglossal motor output known as inactivity-induced phrenic and hypoglossal motor facilitation (iPMF and iHMF, respectively). We hypothesized that, similar to other forms of respiratory plasticity, iPMF and iHMF are pattern sensitive. Central respiratory neural activity was reversibly reduced in ventilated rats by hyperventilating below the CO2 apneic threshold to create brief intermittent neural apneas (5, ∼1.5 min each, separated by 5 min), a single brief massed neural apnea (7.5 min), or a single prolonged neural apnea (30 min). Upon restoration of respiratory neural activity, long-lasting (>60 min) iPMF was apparent following brief intermittent and prolonged, but not brief massed, neural apnea. Further, brief intermittent and prolonged neural apnea elicited an increase in the maximum phrenic response to high CO2, suggesting that iPMF is associated with an increase in phrenic dynamic range. By contrast, only prolonged neural apnea elicited iHMF, which was transient in duration (<15 min). Intermittent, massed, and prolonged neural apnea all elicited a modest transient facilitation of respiratory frequency. These results indicate that iPMF, but not iHMF, is pattern sensitive, and that the response to respiratory neural inactivity is motor pool specific.


apnea; iPMF; phrenic; plasticity; respiratory control

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