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J Physiol. 1985 Nov;368:147-78.

Caudal medullary expiratory neurone and internal intercostal nerve discharges in the cat: effects of lung inflation.

Abstract

In midcollicular decerebrate, thoracotomized, paralysed cats that were ventilated by a cycle-triggered pump and had an expiratory load, recordings were taken from expiratory neurones in the nucleus retroambigualis of the caudal medulla and from the internal intercostal nerves at T8-T9 levels. Expiratory neurone and internal intercostal activities had augmenting patterns of two types: (a) step-ramp (one-third of the neurones): a large initial increase of activity synchronous with inspiratory termination, followed by a ramp increase throughout the expiratory phase; (b) ramp (two-thirds of the neurones): a steady rise of activity without a sharp initial increase, discharge usually starting after a delay (as much as several hundred milliseconds) from the onset of expiration. Both types of unit pattern could occur together with each type of internal intercostal pattern. At the end of expiration, unit activity shut off abruptly just prior (0-120 ms) to the onset of phrenic discharge. The effects of pulmonary afferent discharge on unit and internal intercostal activities were evaluated by use of inflation tests: withholding inflation during the preceding inspiratory phase; maintaining inflation at the end-inspiratory level during expiration. Both tests produced lengthening of expiratory phase duration (TE), but their effects on activity differed. Following no-inflation during inspiration, the discharge onset delay was lengthened for most ramp neurones, but for only a minority of step-ramp neurones; the slope of activity augmentation did not change on the average; and the peak (end-expiratory) discharge frequency was only slightly increased. The predominant effect of maintained expiratory inflation was reduction of activity slope for ramp neurones and for a minority of step-ramp neurones, as well as increase of peak frequency; there was a moderate increase of discharge onset delay for ramp neurones, but not for step-ramp neurones. The lengthening of TE produced by no-inflation in the preceding inspiration was associated with lengthening of the durations of both the discharge onset delay and the discharge burst, but there was no correlation between changes of these two variables. We observed a 'reversal phenomenon': moderate inflation facilitated activity, whereas higher inflation levels depressed activity, as demonstrated by: comparison of effects of maintained expiratory deflation (removal of the expiratory load) and of maintained expiratory inflation, both of which reduced activity; comparison of effects of phasic expiratory inflations having different magnitudes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PMID:
4078740
PMCID:
PMC1192590
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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