Characterization of respiratory-related activity of the facial nerve

Ji Chuu Hwang, Chiang Ting Chien, Walter M. St. John*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Activities of the facial, hypoglossal and phrenic nerves were recorded in decerebrate and paralyzed cats. These animals were ventilated with a servo-respirator which produced lung inflations in parallel with phrenic activity. Peak inspiratory phrenic, hypoglossal and facial activities increased in hypercapnia or hypoxia. When pulmonary inflation was prevented, hypoglossal and facial activities increased more than phrenic. Responses to withholding lung inflation differed from those following vagotomy. These differences were observed in expiratory facial and hypoglossal activities and in hypercapnia- and hypoxia-induced changes in facial activity. Administration of pentobarbital or hyperventilation to hypocapnia caused greater suppression of hypoglossal than facial activity; the latter declined more than phrenic activity. The results support the hypothesis than influences from the brainstem reticular formation and from pulmonary stretch receptors are differentially distributed to motoneurons innervating upper airway muscles compared to those of the bulbospinal-phrenic system. The concept that ventilatory activity is influenced by tonic, as well as phasic discharge of pulmonary receptors is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988 Aug


  • Anesthesia
  • Cat
  • Facial nerve
  • Hypercapnia
  • Hypoglossal nerve
  • Hypoxia
  • Phrenic nerve
  • Pulmonary stretch receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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