The brain-stem projections of pulmonary stretch afferent neurones in cats and rabbits

J Physiol. 1982 Jan:322:353-63. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1982.sp014041.


1. Micro-electrode recordings were made from slowly adapting pulmonary stretch afferents within the nodose ganglia of cats and rabbits. Recordings sites were distributed throughout the ganglia. 2. The projections of these afferents to the medulla oblongata were studied by antidromic stimulation. 'Point' and 'Field' type depth--threshold curves were interpreted as corresponding to stimulation of the main afferent axons and its branches, respectively. Increases in antidromic latency in conjunction with 'field' contours was additional evidence in support of this interpretation. 3. In cats, most (six out of seven) afferents had extensive branches, and probably also terminations, within the medial subnucleus of the ipsilateral nucleus tractus solitarius (n.t.s.). Two of these, plus one other afferent, also had projections to the lateral and ventrolateral subnuclei. 4. In rabbits the projections of such afferents were similar, i.e. mainly to the medial subnucleus of the n.t.s. (eight out of eleven) but also extending into the nucleus alaris, and occasionally to lateral and ventrolateral subnuclei (two out of eleven) or to both regions (one out of eleven). 5. Branching of single afferents was seen to occur over up to 3 mm of the rostro-caudal extent of the intermediate region of the n.t.s. The significance of the observations is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Mechanoreceptors / physiology*
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Nodose Ganglion / physiology
  • Pulmonary Stretch Receptors / physiology*
  • Rabbits


  • Horseradish Peroxidase