Pharmacology of airway afferent nerve activity

Bradley J. Undem, Michael J. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Afferent nerves in the airways serve to regulate breathing pattern, cough, and airway autonomic neural tone. Pharmacologic agents that influence afferent nerve activity can be subclassified into compounds that modulate activity by indirect means (eg bronchial smooth muscle spasmogens) and those that act directly on the nerves. Directly acting agents affect afferent nerve activity by interacting with various ion channels and receptors within the membrane of the afferent terminals. Whether by direct or indirect means, most compounds that enter the airspace will modify afferent nerve activity, and through this action alter airway physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-244
Number of pages11
JournalRespiratory research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Autonomic
  • Pulmonary
  • Respiratory
  • Sensory
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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