Expiratory neural activities in gasping

W. M. St. John, D. Zhou, R. F. Fregosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The purpose was to characterize expiratory-related neural activities in eupnea and gasping. In decerebrate and vagotomized cats, activities were recorded from the phrenic nerve, spinal intercostal and abdominal nerves, and recurrent laryngeal nerve and its branches. Neural inspiration was defined by phrenic discharge. The spinal and laryngeal nerves discharged in inspiration, expiration, or during both phases. Gasping was induced by freezing the brain stem at the ponto-medullary junction, exposure to asphyxia or anoxia, or ligation of the basilar artery and its branches. In gasping, peak phrenic activity typically increased as did inspiratory-related activities of laryngeal and spinal nerves. Expiratory activities were greatly reduced in gasping, with some activities being completely eliminated. Reductions of expiratory activity were more prominent for spinal than laryngeal nerves. Similar results were obtained in cats having intact vagi that were ventilated with a servo-respirator so that lung inflation paralleled phrenic activity. The concept that gasping differs fundamentally from other ventilatory patterns is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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