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Waking and ventilatory responses to laryngeal stimulation in sleeping dogs.


We studied waking and ventilatory responses to laryngeal stimulation during sleep in three dogs. The dogs breathed through an endotracheal tube inserted caudally into the trachea through a tracheostomy. Laryngeal stimulation was produced either by inflating a small balloon that was positioned in the rostral tracheal segment, or by squirting water onto the larynx through a catheter inserted through the tracheostomy. Airflow was measured with a pneumotachograph, and sleep state was determined by behavioral, electroencephalographic, and electromyographic criteria. We found that the degree of laryngeal stimulation required to produce arousal and coughing was higher in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep than in slow-wave sleep (SWS). Stimuli that failed to cause arousal from SWS often produced a single expiratory effort, or brief apnea (1--2 s) and bradycardia. In contrast, during REM sleep subarousal stimuli often resulted in prolonged apnea (greater than 10 s) and marked bradycardia. We conclude that during REM sleep arousal responses to laryngeal stimulation are depressed, but ventilatory and cardiac responses are intact.

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