Increased venous PCO2 enhances dynamic responses of avian intrapulmonary chemoreceptors

S. C. Hempleman, D. E. Bebout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We quantified the neural discharge of intrapulmonary chemoreceptors (IPC) innervating the left lungs of anesthetized Pekin ducks. Right and left lungs were separately unidirectionally ventilated. Alternating steps in CO2 concentration (0-6%, 11-s period) were delivered to the left lung under control conditions [mixed venous PCO2, (Pv̄(CO2)) 43 ± 4 Torr] and under venous CO2 load conditions (Pv̄(CO2) 79 ± 6 Torr). During venous CO2 loading the right lung was ventilated with 10-20% CO2, while the left lung was ventilated with a sufficient flow of gas containing 0% CO2 to maintain normal expired PCO2 (indicated by constant IPC discharge rate). Venous loading increased the peak-to-peak amplitude of the oscillation in IPC discharge by 4.3 ± 1.8 s-1 (n = 11, P < 0.05), left lung ventilation was increased 2.6-fold, and the IPC step response became more prompt. The mean IPC discharge rate during the CO2 stepping cycle was not significantly affected (11.8 ± 1.4 during control vs. 10.3 ± 1.3 s-1 during venous loading). Increased IPC discharge oscillations were due to enhancement of the dynamic overshoot in receptor discharge after the 6-0% downstep in inspired CO2 and to a depression of discharge during 6% inspired CO2. We propose that the phasic enhancement of IPC discharge oscillations during venous CO2 loading may cause feedback inhibition of ventilatory drive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R15-R19
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1 35-1
StatePublished - 1994


  • birds
  • exercise
  • respiratory control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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