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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1985 Jun;63(6):704-16.

Activity of in situ middle cervical ganglion neurons in dogs, using extracellular recording techniques.


Neuronal activity in the in situ middle cervical ganglion of dogs was investigated using extracellular recording techniques. The recorded action potentials were frequently active during specific phases of the cardiac cycle, particularly during systole, and this activity persisted following acute decentralization of the ganglion. The activity of these action potentials was modified when systemic arterial pressure was altered by isoproterenol, noradrenaline, adrenaline, or partial occlusion of the aorta, whether in the intact or acutely decentralized preparation. These neurons were active between systolic pressures of 70 and 180 mmHg (1 mmHg = 133.322 Pa). Action potentials were frequently modified by mechanical distortion of the superior vena cava, ventricular epicardium, or adventitia of the aorta, whether the preparation was acutely decentralized or not. Seventy percent of these action potentials were unaffected by stimulation (1 ms, 4 V, 0.5 Hz) of a cardiopulmonary nerve and 27% were suppressed by such stimulation. Five of the neurons were activated by such stimulation. It is presumed that the latter neurons had axons in a cardiopulmonary nerve and most likely were efferent sympathetic postganglionic neurons. Sixty-three percent of these spontaneously active phase-locked units were modified by stimulation of a ramus or an ansa. It is postulated that some of the neurons in the middle cervical ganglia can be modified by afferent axons arising from receptors in thoracic organs, in particular from the great vessels and heart, whether in an intact or acutely decentralized preparation. The majority of these neurons are presumed not to be afferent neurons or efferent postganglionic neurons, as they are not activated directly by electrical stimulation of axons in cardiopulmonary nerves. Rather they are presumed to be interneurons. These results lend support to the thesis that considerable integration of neuronal activity related to thoracic cardiovascular dynamics occurs within the middle cervical ganglia of dogs.

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