In anesthetized rats, increases in phrenic nerve amplitude and frequency during brief periods of hypoxia are followed by a reduction in phrenic nerve burst frequency [posthypoxia frequency decline (PHFD)]. We investigated the effects of chronic exposure to hypoxia on PHFD and on peripheral and central O2-sensing mechanisms. In Inactin-anesthetized (100 mg/kg) Sprague-Dawley rats, phrenic nerve discharge and arterial pressure responses to 10 s N2 inhalation were recorded after exposure to hypoxia (10 ± 0.5% 02) for 6-14 days. Compared with rats maintained at normoxia, PHFD was abolished in chronic hypoxic rats. Because of inhibition of PHFD, the increased phrenic burst frequency and amplitude after N2 inhalation persisted for 1.8-2.8 times longer in chronic hypoxic (70 s) compared with normoxic (25-40 s) rats (P < 0.05). After acute bilateral carotid body denervation, N2 inhalation produced a short depression of phrenic nerve discharge in both chronic hypoxic and normoxic rats. However, the degree and duration of depression of phrenic nerve discharge was smaller in chronic hypoxic compared with normoxic rats (P < 0.05). We conclude that after exposure to chronic hypoxia, a reduction in PHFD contributes to an increased duration of the acute hypoxic ventilatory response in anesthetized rats. Furthermore, after exposure to chronic hypoxia, the central network responsible for respiration is more resistant to the depressant effects of acute hypoxia in anesthetized rats.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|Issue number||6 54-6|
|State||Published - Dec 2003|
- Carotid body
- Phrenic nerve discharge, acute hypoxia