Medical College of Wisconsin
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Important role of carotid chemoreceptor afferents in control of breathing of adult and neonatal mammals. Respir Physiol 2000 Feb;119(2-3):199-208



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0034102480   51 Citations


This review provides a summary and prospective on the importance of carotid/peripheral chemoreceptors to the control of breathing during physiologic conditions. For several days after carotid body denervation (CBD), adult mammals hypoventilate (+10 mmHg increase in Pa(CO(2))) at rest and during exercise and CO(2) sensitivity is attenuated by about 60%. In addition, if the rostral ventrolateral medulla is cooled during NREM sleep after CBD, a sustained apnea is observed. Eventually, days or weeks after CBD, a peripheral ventilatory chemoreflex redevelops and there is a normalization of breathing (rest and exercise) and CO(2) sensitivity. The site (s) of the regained chemosensitivity has not been established. This plasticity/redundancy after CBD appears greater in neonates than in adult mammals. These data suggest the carotid and other peripheral chemoreceptors provide an important excitatory input to medullary respiratory neurons that is essential for breathing when wakeful stimuli and central chemoreceptors are absent.

Author List

Forster HV, Pan LG, Lowry TF, Serra A, Wenninger J, Martino P


Hubert V. Forster PhD Professor in the Physiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals, Newborn
Carotid Body
Chemoreceptor Cells
Infant, Newborn
Neurons, Afferent
Respiratory Mechanics
jenkins-FCD Prod-468 69a93cef3257f26b866d455c1d2b2d0f28382f14