PMID: 5914258Sep 1, 1966

Action potentials in parasympathetic and sympathetic efferent fibres to the trachea and lungs of dogs and cats

The Journal of Physiology
J G Widdicombe


1. Action potentials were recorded from seventy-four single and twenty-nine small multifibre nerve strands efferent to the trachea and lungs of cats and dogs. From the pathway (vagal or sympathetic), spontaneous activity, conduction velocity and responses to various interventions the efferent fibres were classified in the following way.2. Group I, vagal. These had a mean conduction velocity of 9.7 m/sec, and had a respiratory but seldom a cardiac rhythm. Their discharge was inhibited during hypertension caused by injections of adrenaline and during inflation of the lungs, but was increased during tracheal occlusion, stimulation of peripheral chemoreceptors and irritation of the larynx. The fibres are thought to be constrictor to the airways.3. Group II, sympathetic. These had a mean conduction velocity of 0.85 m/sec and usually had inspiratory and cardiac rhythms. Their discharge usually responded qualitatively as that of group I fibres to the various interventions, but with clear quantitative differences. They are divided into three subgroups on the basis of their responses to injections of adrenaline and to asphyxial stimuli.4. Group III, vagal and sympathetic. These had a mean conduction velocity of 9.0 m/sec, very slow disc...Continue Reading


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