Carotid chemoreceptor response to increases in CO2 output

Douglas Corfield, Brenda A. Cross, D. R. Corfield, Kathryn D. Howells, R. P. Stidwill, G. B. Newman, S. J G Semple

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    The effect on carotid chemoreceptor activity of alterations in PaCO2 oscillations produced by venous CO2 loading via the small intestines was studied in anaesthetised cats, which were paralysed and ventilated at constant frequency. Changes in PaCO2 oscillations were assessed from continuously recorded oscillations of arterial pH. Chemoreceptor activity was averaged over 20-50 pH cycles to determine the amplitude (csnd ampl) and mean level (csnd mean) of the respiratory fluctuation in discharge frequency during control and CO2 loaded periods. Two groups of 5 cats were studied. In both group, the amplitude of the PaCO2 oscillations increased by an overall average of 74.5% (standard error, (SE = 9.2) with minimal change in mean PaCO2 (average increase 0.7 mm Hg), in response to an increase in V̇CO2 of 77.5% (SE = 7.4). When isoxia was maintained (Group 1) csnd ampl increased by 51.3% (SE = 11.1) and csnd mean by 17.3% (SE = 7.8). In Group 2, PaO2 rose by 16.7 mm Hg (SE =1.5) during CO2 loading and both csnd ampl and csnd mean decreased by 7.4% (SE = 9.3) and 2.3% (SE = 13.3) respectively. The results demonstrate a sensitivity of chemoreceptors to changes in V̇CO2 which is influenced by small changes in PaO2. © 1990.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-115
    Number of pages16
    JournalRespiration Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1990


    • Animal, cat
    • Chemoreceptor, arterial
    • Control of breathing
    • effect of oscillations of arterial PCO2 and pH
    • Oscillation and ventilation
    • Oscillation of arterial PCO2 and pH


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