Modulation of Hering-Breuer Reflex by Ventrolateral Pons
The vagally-mediated Hering-Breuer reflex (HBR) is known to be modulated by the classic pneumotaxic center in the dorsolateral pons. In this work, we investigated whether the HBR was also modulated by the ventrolateral pons (vl-pons). Experiments were performed on urethane anesthetized adult rats. The HBR was elicited by electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve and its strength was compared before and after electrical stimulation or microinjection of MK-801 (non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist) at the vl-pons. We found that the inspiratory inhibition and expiratory prolongation effects of the HBR were strengthened after electrical stimulation at the vl-pons but were weakened after microinjecting MK-801. Results suggested that the vl-pons could influence the respiratory rhythm by modulating the strength of HBR via NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission.
KeywordsElectrical Stimulation Vagus Nerve Vagal Stimulation Respiratory Inhibition Phrenic Nerve Activity
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