Increases in inspiratory neural drive in response to rapid oscillating airflow braking forces (vibration)

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2008 Feb 29;160(3):350-2. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2007.10.005. Epub 2007 Oct 13.


Objective: To investigate whether 10 breaths against a vibration stimulus elicits increments of spontaneous and maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (maxMP) and tidal mean inspiratory flow (iV(T)/T(I)) upon stimulus removal.

Methods: Twelve healthy subjects (8 female, 4 male; 22-50 years old), recruited from the University student body, completed 3 maximal inspirations before (pre) and after (post) 10 inspirations against resistive loading with a vibration-type stimulus (VIB; youbreathe, Exoscience Ltd., London, UK), pressure-matched resistive loading (RES) or resting breathing (CON; no load). The trials were presented in a random order. maxMP and involuntary tidal breathing were compared pre and post conditioning.

Results: Inspiratory neural drive increased only after VIB as evidenced by increased tidal and maxMP and mean inspiratory flow (iV(T)/T(I); p < 0.05). There was no effect of either resistance or control breathing on maximal maxMP or tidal responses.

Conclusions: Ten conditioning breaths of VIB lead to increased maximal inspiratory mouth pressure and spontaneous mouth pressure and mean inspiratory flow possibly through a common mechanism of increased descending respiratory drive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Resistance / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Tidal Volume / physiology
  • Vibration*
  • Work of Breathing / physiology*