Functional connectivity among ventrolateral medullary respiratory neurones and responses during fictive cough in the cat
Author's present address
Z. Li: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
- 1This study tested predictions from a network model of ventrolateral medullary respiratory neurone interactions for the generation of the cough motor pattern observed in inspiratory and expiratory pump muscles.
- 2Data were from 34 mid-collicularly decerebrated, paralysed, artificially ventilated cats. Cough-like patterns (fictive cough) in efferent phrenic and lumbar nerve activities were elicited by mechanical stimulation of the intrathoracic trachea. Neurones in the ventral respiratory group, including the Bötzinger and pre-Bötzinger complexes, were monitored simultaneously with microelectrode arrays. Spike trains were analysed for evidence of functional connectivity and responses during fictive cough with cycle-triggered histograms, autocorrelograms, cross-correlograms, and spike-triggered averages of phrenic and recurrent laryngeal nerve activities.
- 3Significant cross-correlogram features were detected in 151 of 1988 pairs of respiratory modulated neurones. There were 59 central peaks, 5 central troughs, 11 offset peaks and 2 offset troughs among inspiratory neurone pairs. Among expiratory neurones there were 23 central peaks, 8 offset peaks and 4 offset troughs. Correlations between inspiratory and expiratory neurones included 20 central peaks, 10 central troughs and 9 offset troughs. Spike-triggered averages of phrenic motoneurone activity had 51 offset peaks and 5 offset troughs.
- 4The concurrent responses and multiple short time scale correlations support parallel and serial network interactions proposed in our model for the generation of the cough motor pattern in the respiratory pump muscles. Inferred associations included the following. (a) Excitation of augmenting inspiratory (I-Aug) neurones and phrenic motoneurones by I-Aug neurones. (b) Inhibition of augmenting expiratory (E-Aug) neurones by decrementing inspiratory (I-Dec) neurones. (c) Inhibition of I-Aug, I-Dec and E-Aug neurones by E-Dec neurones. (d) Inhibition of I-Aug and I-Dec neurones and phrenic motoneurones by E-Aug neurones. The data also confirm previous results and support hypotheses in current network models for the generation of the eupnoeic pattern.