Characterization of respiratory-modulated activities of hypoglossal motoneurons

J. C. Hwang, W. M. St. John, D. Bartlett

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82 Citations (Scopus)


In decerebrate, vagotomized, paralyzed, and ventilated cats, activities of the phrenic nerve and single hypoglossal nerve fibers were monitored. The great majority of hypoglossal neuronal activities were inspiratory (I), discharging during a period approximating that of phrenic. Many were not active at normocapnia but were recruited in hypercapnia or hypoxia. Once recruited, discharge frequencies, which rose quickly to near maximal levels in early to midinspiration, significantly increased with further augmentations of drive. Also, the onset of activities became progressively earlier, compared with phrenic discharge, in hypercapnia or hypoxia. Smaller numbers of hypoglossal fiber activities, having inspiratory-expiratory (I-E), expiratory (E), expiratory-inspiratory (E-I), or tonic discharge patterns, were also recorded. Activities of E, I-E, and those of I fibers that became I-E in high drive may underlie the early burst of expiratory activity of the hypoglossal nerve. It is concluded that the firing and recruitment patterns of hypoglossal neurons differ from those of phrenic motoneurons. However, responses to chemoreceptor stimuli are similar among the two neuronal groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-798
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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