Role of the arterial chemoreceptors in controlling lung volume in the dog

P. Bouverot, R. S. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thoracic gas volume at the end expiratory level (FRC) was measured by a plethysmographic method. The FRC in anesthetized dogs was observed to increase by 20 per cent in a few seconds when the arterial chemoreceptors were stimulated either by breathing hypoxic gas mixture or by perfusion of NaCN or hypoxic blood. Similar results were observed in awake trained intact dogs breathing 13 per cent of oxygen in nitrogen. Conversely FRC decreased during the hyperoxic suppression of the chemoreflex drive. In the acutely or chronically chemodenervated dogs, changes in FRC related to Po2 were no longer observed. It is concluded that the arterial chemoreceptors are essential in controlling lung volume in hypoxia or hyperoxia. Different factors possibly involved in the observed changes in FRC are discussed. Some direct EMG measurements show that the arterial chemoreceptors might control lung volume by changing the tonic-phasic activity of the intercostal muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1969
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial chemoreceptors
  • Body plethysmograph
  • EMG of intercostal muscles
  • Functional residual capacity
  • Hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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