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Modeling of Sleep-Induced Changes in Airway Function: Implication for Nocturnal Worsening of Bronchial Asthma

  • Musa A. Haxhiu
  • Prabha Kc
  • Kannan V. Balan
  • Christopher G. Wilson
  • Richard J. Martin
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 605)

Here we describe the model of sleep-induced worsening of airway function in patients with airway disorders. Our model is based on the noradrenergic pathways that link central neuronal structures responsible for alternating wakefulness and sleep with the neuronal networks regulating the activity of airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs). Our previous studies showed that cholinergic outflow to the airways depend on the activity of inhibitory inputs to AVPNs. Major inhibitory cell groups, regulating AVPNs discharge, include brainstem noradrenaline (NA)-containing cells receiving projections from the hypothalamic sleep-promoting neurons of the ventrolateral preoptic region (VLPO). When activated, VLPO cells, using GABA and/or galanin as mediators, downregulate the activity of inhibitory NA neurons projecting to AVPNs. Therefore, changes that occur during sleep lead to a shift from inhibitory to excitatory transmission of the AVPNs, thereby increasing cholinergic outflow to the airways. Our model, based on neuroanatomical and molecular studies, and physiology experiments, can be used to explain sleep-related worsening of bronchial asthma and might contribute to development of clinically meaningful treatment for patients with sleep-induced worsening of airway function and respiratory symptoms.

Keywords

sleep-generating sites noradrenergic neurons nocturnal asthma airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Musa A. Haxhiu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Prabha Kc
    • 1
  • Kannan V. Balan
    • 1
  • Christopher G. Wilson
    • 1
  • Richard J. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of PediatricsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Departments of MedicineCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Departments of AnatomyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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