Developmental Aspects of the Central Effects of Hypoxia

  • Teresa Trippenbach


Although several hypotheses have been proposed1-3, the mechanisms of the hypoxic depression of breathing in newborns are still not well understood. A more recent study shows that the drop in ventilation coincides with a decrease in metabolic rate in newborns of several mammalian species4. These parallel effects imply that hypoxia does not abolish the homeostatic link between ventilation and metabolism. Nevertheless, central hypoxia could limit influences of the suprapontine structures on different control systems. These influences are independent of chemical stimuli and, via the reticular activating system (RAS), modify excitability of the respiratory neurones5, 6. Peripheral nerve stimulation has comparable effects to the direct stimulation of the RAS, i. e. shortening of expiration and an increase in phrenic activity in newborn7 and adult animals6.


Vagal Stimulation Respiratory Effect Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Central Hypoxia Respiratory Neurone 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Trippenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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