Respiratory-Associated Firing of Midbrain and Thalamic Neurons: Possible Relation to Sensation of Dyspnea

  • Frederic L. Eldridge
  • Zibin Chen
  • Paul G. Wagner


Although suprapontine brain is not necessary for normal breathing patterns and responses to chemical and other stimuli, it is known that neurons in the mesencephalon and thalamus do under some conditions develop a rhythmic pattern of firing that has the timing of the respiratory cycle1, 2. We became interested in the question because of observations we had made in unanesthetized, decerebrate, vagotomized cats. Some mesencephalic neurons, which fired irregularly or tonically when Pco2 was low and phrenic activity small, developed a respiratory-linked rhythm when respiratory activity had been increased by electrical stimulation of a carotid sinus nerve. The present studies were designed to investigate systematically the characteristics and source of the respiratory-associated neuronal rhythm3, 4.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Respiratory Drive Respiratory Rhythm Thalamic Neuron Carotid Sinus Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederic L. Eldridge
    • 1
  • Zibin Chen
    • 1
  • Paul G. Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and PhysiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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