Location of lung receptors mediating the breathing frequency response to pulmonary CO2

J. O. Nilsestuen, R. L. Coon, M. Woods, J. P. Kampine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pulmonary stretch receptors are thought to mediate the breathing frequency (bf) response to changes in pulmonary CO2. However, the location and distribution of these receptors is disputed. The purpose of this study was to determine what contribution the extrapulmonary receptors make in the pulmonary CO2 bf response. Mongrel dogs were anesthetized and placed on cardiopulmonary bypass. The diaphragm electromyogram was used to monitor respiratory center output and to trigger a ventilator. Exposure of an upper airway segment to CO2 or positive end-expired pressure failed to produce changes in the bf. Denervation of the upper airway down to but not including the hilum caused similar insignificant changes in the CO2 bf response. Lungs collapsed by suction showed minimal Hering-Breuer inhibition when compared with inflated lungs. Bronchial arterial perfusion with hypocapnic followed by hypercapnic blood failed to produce changes in the bf while similar perfusion of the pulmonary arterial system resulted in significant increases in bf. It appears that the receptors mainly responsible for the pulmonary CO2 response are located in the more peripheral regions of the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-355
Number of pages13
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchial artery
  • Hering-Breuer reflex
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Respiration
  • Sensory receptors
  • Trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Location of lung receptors mediating the breathing frequency response to pulmonary CO2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this