Carotid body chemosensory function in prolonged normobaric hyperoxia in the cat

S. Lahiri, E. Mulligan, S. Andronikou, M. Shirahata, A. Mokashi

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53 Scopus citations


The effects of normobaric hyperoxia on carotid body chemosensory function in the cat were studied. The hypothesis was that carotid body chemosensory function would be affected by chronic exposure to 100% O2 at sea level. It was based on the assumptions that carotid body tissue is exposed to high PO2 because of its high blood flow and that its O2 chemosensing mechanism is sensitive to O2 radical-induced reactions. Twelve cats were exposed to 100% O2 for 60-67 h, and 10 control cats were maintained in room air at sea level. They were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), and chemosensory afferents from a cut carotid sinus nerve were isolated and identified. The responses of single or a few clearly identifiable chemoreceptor afferents to isocapnic hypoxia and hypercapnia during hyperoxia and to the bolus injections of cyanide, nicotine, and dopamine were studied. We found that chronic hyperoxia severely blunted or eliminated the O2-sensitive response of the carotid chemoreceptors while augmenting the hypercapnic response. The response to cyanide but not to nicotine and dopamine were attenuated. Thus the hypoxic and hypercapnic responses that normally interact were separable. The lack of the cyanide response was consistent with the lack of the hypoxic response, suggesting a possible shared mechanism of carotid chemoreceptor response. Qualitatively normal responses to dopamine and nicotine indicated that the respective receptors were relatively intact after chronic exposure to hyperoxia and that the sensory nerves themselves were not affected by the prolonged O2 exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1924-1931
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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