Respiration physiology

The carotid body in the motorneuron response to protriptyline.

PMID 8367615


Protriptyline (PRT) has been shown to preferentially stimulate upper airway inspiratory motorneurons relative to phrenic activity in hyperoxic hypercapnia in the decerebrate cat via a carotid body-independent mechanism. Since previous studies indicated that carotid body stimulation results in preferential activation of upper airway respiratory muscles during both hypercapnia and hypoxemia, we hypothesized that if PRT preferentially stimulated upper airway motorneurons, the mechanism of action might involve the carotid body. We investigated the effect of PRT on carotid body function by comparing the electrical activity of the hypoglossal (HYP) with that of the phrenic (PHR) nerve in carotid sinus nerve intact (CSNI) and CSN-sectioned (CSNX) anesthetized rats, before and after PRT (0.5 mg/kg i.v.), during 100% O2, 15% O2 (N2 balance), and 4% CO2 (O2 balance) administration. The moving time average (MTA) peak inspiratory electroneurogram activities of both the HYP and PHR nerves increased an equivalent amount after PRT injection during hyperoxia, in both CSNI and CSNX rats. During hypoxia, the HYP activity increased significantly more than the PHR activity only in CSNI rats after PRT injection. During hyperoxic hypercapnia, HYP MTAs increased a similar amount in the CSNI and CSNX rats. We conclude that the HYP and PHR respiratory motorneuron pool responses to PRT depend on the blood gas status at the time of drug administration.