Sensory origin of lobeline-induced sensations: a correlative study in man and cat

J Physiol. 1995 Jan 1;482 ( Pt 1)(Pt 1):235-46. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1995.sp020513.


1. Intravenous injections of lobeline HCl into twenty-six normal young male human volunteers produced sensations of choking, pressure or fumes in the throat and upper chest at a mean threshold dose of 12 micrograms kg-1. 2. Reflex changes in breathing pattern usually appeared just before the sensations. Increasing the dose of lobeline increased the intensity of the sensations gradually until a dry cough appeared at a mean threshold dose of 24.3 micrograms kg-1. At these doses there was a mean difference of 0.3s in the latencies for sensation and respiratory reflex; in four subjects there was no difference at all. 3. In cats anaesthetized with 35 mg kg-1 sodium pentobarbitone, injecting 25-67 micrograms kg-1 lobeline into the right atrium sensitized thirteen out of seventeen rapidly adapting receptors (RARs). In three out of four cats lobeline had no excitatory effect on the RARs in the absence of normal activity (i.e. when it was injected while artificial respiration was suspended), but on restarting the respiration the activity increased greatly. After injecting lobeline, the activity increased during inflation or deflation or in both phases of the respiratory cycle. It also increased greatly during deflation produced by suction of air from the lungs after lobeline. Such presumed increased activity in the RARs of man produced by forced expiration to residual volume at the time lobeline-induced sensations were expected did not enhance the sensations in any subject. 4. In all the subjects tested, forced expiration alone, which should stimulate RARs, never produced a dry cough or sensations similar to those produced by lobeline.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Citrates / pharmacology*
  • Citric Acid
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lobeline / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sensation / drug effects*
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / drug effects


  • Aerosols
  • Citrates
  • Citric Acid
  • Lobeline