The synaptic connection between slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptor afferents and inspiratory neurones within a region ventral to the tractus solitarius was determined using intracellular recording and spike triggered averaging techniques. When the vagus nerve was stimulated at intensities eliciting a Hering-Breuer reflex, the difference in mean latency between centrally recorded action potentials of slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptor afferents and e.p.s.p.s of inspiratory beta neurones was 0.2 ms. This difference is indicative of a monosynaptic connection. Extracellular single unit spikes of slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors recorded from the nodose ganglion were used to trigger the averaging of synaptic noise recorded from inspiratory neurones. A prominent wave of synaptic depolarization was observed in all inspiratory beta neurones even when a small number of sweeps were averaged. This depolarization was absent from inspiratory alpha neurones. The shape indices of these depolarizations are consistent with a monosynaptic connection between slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptor afferents and inspiratory beta neurones. In addition, the data raise the possibility that this connection is multiple and distributed.
- Connectivity of respiratory neurones
- Hering-Breuer reflex
- Inspiratory neurones
- Neural control of respiration
- Nuclei of the tractus solitarius
- Slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors
- Spike triggered averaging