A previous study in our laboratory demonstrated that the stimulation with microinjection of DL-homocysteic acid of cell bodies in the rostral portion of the external formation of the nucleus ambiguus (Aext) increased total lung resistance in dogs. In the present study anatomic experiments were conducted in dogs to determine if the rostral Aext contains vagal preganglionic cell bodies that give rise to axons in the pulmonary branches of the vagus nerve. The application of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) to either the pulmonary branches or the vagus at a point between the pulmonary branches and the cardiac branches resulted in retrograde labeling of cell bodies in both rostral Aext and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMN). On the other hand, application of HRP to the vagus at a point below the pulmonary branches did not result in any retrogradely labeled cell bodies in rostral Aext but did result in labeled cell bodies in DMN. In another series of experiments DL-homocysteic acid (2.5 nmol in 25 nl) was microinjected at sites in rostral Aext and DMN. As we previously reported the injection of DL-homocysteic acid in rostral Aext increased total lung resistance. In contrast, in the same animals, the injection of DL-homocysteic acid in DMN did not change total lung resistance. We conclude that bronchomotor vagal preganglionic cell bodies are located in rostral Aext but not in DMN. The functional significance of vagal preganglionic cell bodies in DMN whose axons contribute to the pulmonary branches of the vagus nerve remains to be determined.
- Copyright © 1992 the American Physiological Society