Modulation by "central" PCO2 of the response to carotid body stimulation in man

C. A. Roberts, D. R. Corfield, K. Murphy, N. A. Calder, M. A. Hanson, L. Adams, A. Guz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We describe a method to assess the effects of PCO2, around and below eucapnia, on the neuromuscular ventilatory response to a standard peripheral chemoreceptor stimulus. Subjects were "passively" hyperventilated (without respiratory muscle activity), at a constant level of ventilation. Stimuli (3-7 breaths N2) were delivered over a range of steady-state PetCO2 (25-43 mmHg). Stimuli during hypocapnia were coupled with a transient increase in FiCO2 so that the stimulus to the peripheral chemoreceptors was always "hypoxia at eucapnia". Responses to the stimuli (quantified from the reduction in peak inflation pressure and the magnitude of the evoked diaphragm electromyographic activity) decreased in a graded manner as steady-state PetCO2 fell, disappearing at 7.5 mmHg below eucapnia. Carotid body chemoreceptor recordings from two anaesthetised cats, indicated that the peak firing rate during such stimuli was independent of steady-state PCO2. The results suggest that the central sensitivity to a peripheral chemoreceptor input may be modulated by changes in steady-state PCO2 around eucapnia and during mild hypocapnia. © 1995.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-161
    Number of pages12
    JournalRespiration Physiology
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


    • Carotid body
    • Control of breathing, hypoxia at eucapnia
    • Mammals, human


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