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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011 Sep;111(3):861-73. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00458.2011. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Blood pressure changes alter tracheobronchial cough: computational model of the respiratory-cough network and in vivo experiments in anesthetized cats.

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Dept. of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


We tested the hypothesis, motivated in part by a coordinated computational cough network model, that alterations of mean systemic arterial blood pressure (BP) influence the excitability and motor pattern of cough. Model simulations predicted suppression of coughing by stimulation of arterial baroreceptors. In vivo experiments were conducted on anesthetized spontaneously breathing cats. Cough was elicited by mechanical stimulation of the intrathoracic airways. Electromyograms (EMG) of inspiratory parasternal, expiratory abdominal, laryngeal posterior cricoarytenoid (PCA), and thyroarytenoid muscles along with esophageal pressure (EP) and BP were recorded. Transiently elevated BP significantly reduced cough number, cough-related inspiratory, and expiratory amplitudes of EP, peak parasternal and abdominal EMG, and maximum of PCA EMG during the expulsive phase of cough, and prolonged the cough inspiratory and expiratory phases as well as cough cycle duration compared with control coughs. Latencies from the beginning of stimulation to the onset of cough-related diaphragm and abdominal activities were increased. Increases in BP also elicited bradycardia and isocapnic bradypnea. Reductions in BP increased cough number; elevated inspiratory EP amplitude and parasternal, abdominal, and inspiratory PCA EMG amplitudes; decreased total cough cycle duration; shortened the durations of the cough expiratory phase and cough-related abdominal discharge; and shortened cough latency compared with control coughs. Reduced BP also produced tachycardia, tachypnea, and hypocapnic hyperventilation. These effects of BP on coughing likely originate from interactions between barosensitive and respiratory brainstem neuronal networks, particularly by modulation of respiratory neurons within multiple respiration/cough-related brainstem areas by baroreceptor input.

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