The purpose of this investigation was to compare the respiratory pattern of gasping with eupnea and apneusis. Decerebrate, cerebellectomized, vagotomized, paralyzed and ventilated cats were used. The ventilatory pattern, assessed by phrenic nerve activity, was reversibly altered from eupnea to apneusis or gasping by use of a cooling-for, thermode positioned inm the rostral pons or through the pontomedullary junction, respectively. Irreversible apneusis or gasping resulted from brain stem lesions or freezing at appropriate loci. Analysis of phrenic activity revealed that the rates of onset and rise of the gasp were much greater than those of the eupneic or apneustic inspiration. Moreover, in contrast to eupnea or apneusis, neither the frequency nor the intensity of gasps was altered by hypercapnia, hypocapnia, or carotid chemoreceptor stimulation by sodium cyanide. Although hypoxia caused an increase in gasping frequency, this response was transient and not dependent on carotid chemoreceptor mechanisms. These results provide no support for the concept that common mechanisms localized in medulla, underlie the neurogenesis of all automatic ventilatory patterns.
- Copyright © 1981 the American Physiological Society