Send to

Choose Destination
Auton Neurosci. 2008 Jun;140(1-2):24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Emetic stimulation inhibits the swallowing reflex in decerebrate rats.

Author information

Department of Rehabilitation, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Kurashiki 701-0193, Japan.


The effects of emetic stimulation on the swallowing reflex were investigated in decerebrated rats. Hypoxia, gastric distension and LiCl administration were used as emetic stimulations. The swallowing reflex was elicited by electrical stimulation of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN, 20 Hz, 3-5 V, 0.3 ms duration) for 20 s. To examine the effect of hypoxia, nitrogen gas was inhaled under artificial ventilation. There were significantly fewer swallows during a decrease in PO(2) than under air ventilation (p<0.05). The number of swallows during 3-ml stomach distension was significantly lower than that before distension (p<0.05). Intravenous administration of LiCl (100 mg/kg) also significantly reduced the number of swallows (p<0.05). The combination of SLN stimulation and emetic stimuli occasionally produced burst activity of abdominal muscles, which might be associated with the gag reflex. Both the gag and swallowing reflexes are well known to be mediated by the nucleus of the solitary tract. The physiological roles of the gag reflex and the swallowing reflex are considered to be reciprocal. Taken together, these results suggest that emetic stimulation inhibits the swallowing pattern generator via the nucleus of the solitary tract, which in turn facilitates the gag reflex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center