Our purpose was to determine whether the intensity of abdominal expiratory nerve discharge is conditioned by the intensity of the preceding inspiratory phrenic discharge, independent of mechanical and chemical afferent influences. In decerebrate, paralyzed, vagotomized cats with bilateral pneumothoraxes, we recorded phrenic and abdominal (cranial iliohypogastric nerve, L1) nerve activities at hyperoxic normocapnia. We reduced the duration and intensity (i.e., integrated peak height) of phrenic nerve discharge for single cycles by stimulating the cut central end of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) during the central inspiratory phase (75 μA, 20-50 Hz, 0.2-ms pulse). Premature termination of inspiration consistently reduced expiratory duration (TE) and abdominal expiratory nerve activity (area of integrated neurogram), but the average reduction in TE was much less than the reduction in abdominal nerve activity (14 vs. 51%). Stimulation of the cut central end of the vagus nerve yielded similar results, as did spontaneous premature terminations of inspiration, whcih we observed in one cat. SLN stimulation during hyperoxic hypercapnia resulted in more variable responses, and higher stimulation frequencies were usually required to abort inspiration. SLN (or vagal) stimulation during expiration consistently increased abdominal expiratory nerve activity. We speculate that this facilitatory response is gated during inspiration, thereby allowing the inspiratory conditioning effect on the subsequent expiration to be expressed. These findings indicate that information concerning cycle-to-cycle changes in the intensity of centrally generated inspiratory activity is conveyed to abdominal expiratory motoneurons, leading to corresponding changes in their activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)