Neural responses of the cat carotid and aortic bodies to hypercapnia and hypoxia

R. S. Fitzgerald, G. A. Dehghani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The response (imp.s-1) of single- or few-fiber preparations from the carotid body (10 experiments) and the aortic body (5 experiments) to various levels of hypercapnia on different backgrounds of hypoxia were analyzed by two statistical techniques - analysis of variance and the Duncan's new multiple-range test. These analyses showed an initial statistically significant increase in the slope of the response to increasing arterial pressure of CO2 (PaCO2) as PaO2 fell. But the slope of the response to carbon dioxide later showed a clear tendency to become less; i.e., no significant increase in imp.s-1 when a PaCO2 rose (substantially) with normoxic (carotid body) and hypoxic (carotid and aortic bodies) backgrounds. The response of the aortic body to hypercapnia showed no statistically significant increase if the background was hyperoxia or normoxia. The characteristic of the chemoreceptor to become saturated in its response to carbon dioxide while still retaining its ability to respond to hypoxia suggests the possibility that at least some of the mechanisms involved in the chemoreception of hypoxia differ from those involved in the chemoreception of hypercapnia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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