Respiratory-related hypoglossal nerve activity: Influence of anesthetics

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

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202 Citations (Scopus)


In decerebrate, vagotomized, paralyzed, and ventilated cats, phrenic and respiratory-related hypoglossal discharges were evident at normocapnic normoxia or hyperoxia. Both increased progressively in hypercapnia or hypoxia. With increasing drive onset of inspiratory hypoglossal activity began earlier relative to phrenic onset; an early expiratory hypoglossal burst was also observed. Following subanesthetic doses of chloralose, halothane, ketamine, or pentobarbital, hypoglossal activity was depressed much more than phrenic discharge. In moderate hypercapnia or hypoxia, phrenic activity increased more than hypoglossal, whereas, at high drive, the latter rose more sharply in some cats. Electromyograms of the diaphragm and genioglossus were recorded in intact awake cats to determine if their responses and those of decerebrates are comparable. Respiratory-related genioglossal discharge was evident in normocapnia. We conclude that anesthesia suppresses hypoglossal motor activities much more than those of the bulbospinal-phrenic system. Data for decerebrate cats and unanesthetized cats or humans provide no evidence of a differential distribution of chemoreceptor afferents on hypoglossal and bulbospinal-phrenic neurons, as suggested by results in anesthetized animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-792
Number of pages8
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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