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Brain Res. 1997 Sep 12;768(1-2):71-85.

Role of respiratory and non-respiratory neurones in the region of the NTS in the elaboration of the sneeze reflex in cat.

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URA CNRS 1331, Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Picardie, Amiens, France.


Extracellular recordings were made in the dorsal respiratory group (DRG) and adjacent reticular formation following single-shock stimulation of the anterior ethmoidal nerve (AEN) and during sneeze evoked by repetitive stimulation of the AEN in nembutal-anaesthetized, curarized and ventilated cats. These neurones were characterised according to (i) their activity during the respiratory cycle (as inspiratory augmenting or decrementing (I Aug or I Dec), expiratory augmenting or decrementing (E Aug or E Dec), silent or tonic), and (ii) their axonal projection (bulbospinal or non-bulbospinal-non-vagal (BS or NBS-NV)). Following single-shock stimulation of the AEN, most of the inspiratory neurones were transiently inhibited, whereas E Aug neurones were activated and E Dec neurones were activated and then inhibited. Silent neurones responded with a multispike or a paucispike pattern. Following repetitive stimulation of the AEN and during the resulting sneeze reflex, I Aug neurones increased their activity in parallel with the phrenic activity, I Dec neurones fired at the onset and at the end of the inspiration, E Dec and some silent neurones fired either during the compressive phase or after the expulsive phase, whereas E Aug and some silent neurones fired during the expulsive phase. We conclude that sneeze involves a reconfiguration of the central respiratory drive which uses, at least partly, the respiratory network to trigger a non-ventilatory defensive motor act.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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