Bronchopulmonary C-fibers (PCFs) constitute the majority of afferent nerves arising from the lungs and airways and play a key role in respiratory control. Pulmonary inflammation and edema stimulate PCFs, and are frequently accompanied by hypoxemia. Hypoventilation and apnea are often observed in patients under these pathologic conditions and worsened or even fatal when transient nocturnal hypoxemia occurs in sleep. However, the pathophysiology of these respiratory disorders is unknown. PCF stimulation produces a brief apnea that is centrally mediated by releasing glutamate to act on AMPA receptors located in the vicinity of the commissural nucleus (cNTS). Coincidently, inspiration is elevated by activation of the carotid body (CB) chemo-receptors that also terminate in the cNTS and some of them synaptically converge on the neurons driven by PCFs. Information about the interaction between two sensory inputs with opposite effects on ventilatory drive converging in the same central structure is currently lacking. We recently reported that PCF stimulation during acute hypoxia produced a ventilatory arrest (VA), 16-fold longer than the apnea induced by PCF stimulation alone, providing first evidence to describe an interaction of PCF activation and hypoxia in the control of breathing. Exogenous Substance P administered in the cNTS prolongs PCF-mediated apnea by about 10-fold and CB stimulation promotes SP release in the cNTS. Therefore, to elucidate the neurologic mechanisms underlying the VA, we will address three fundamental questions in this proposal: (a) Does the VA require both inputs and the interaction occur peripherally and centrally? If so, what are their relative contributions? (b) Where does the central integration take place, and which neurotransmitters are involved? (c) Does the central interaction occur at PCF-driven neurons, and if so, how? Our study will provide a better understanding of central respiratory integration and the pathophysiology of respiratory disorders inherent in the diseases involving both hypoxemia and pulmonary inflammation/edema. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
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Respiratory Integrative Biology and Translational Research Study Section (RIBT)
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Twery, Michael
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Lovelace Biomedical & Environmental Research
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Xu, Junyang; Xu, Fadi; Lin, Yong (2011) Cigarette smoke synergizes lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-1? and tumor necrosis factor-? secretion from macrophages via substance P-mediated nuclear factor-?B activation. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 44:302-8
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