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Physiol Res. 2005;54(6):645-54.

Cough and laryngeal muscle discharges in brainstem lesioned anaesthetized cats.

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Department of Medical Biophysics, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Martin, Slovak Republic, Malá Hora 4, 03754 Martin, Slovak Republic.


Experiments were carried out to determine whether there are separate drives from the selected neuronal networks of the brainstem affecting the discharge patterns of laryngeal and respiratory pump muscles during cough. Twenty-four non-decerebrate spontaneously breathing cats anesthetized with sodium pentobarbitone were used. Microinjections of kainic acid into the lateral tegmental field of the medulla, medullary midline or pontine respiratory group eliminated the cough evoked by mechanical stimulation of the tracheobronchial and laryngopharyngeal mucosa. These stimuli, in most cases, provoked irregular bursts of discharges in the posterior cricoarytenoid and thyroarytenoid laryngeal muscles (or they had no effect on them). No pattern of laryngeal muscle activities following lesions resembled the laryngeal cough response. Lesions of the target regions did not result in any apparent changes in the eupnoeic pattern of laryngeal activity. Neurons of the medullary lateral tegmental field, raphe nuclei and the pontine respiratory group seem to be indispensable for the configuration of the central cough motor pattern. However, these neurons do not appear to be essential for the discharge patterns of laryngeal motoneurons during eupnoea. The residual laryngeal "cough" responses are probably mediated by an additional motor drive.

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