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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of hypoxia on genioglossus and scalene reflex responses to brief pulses of negative upper-airway pressure during wakefulness and sleep in healthy men
Author: Eckert, D.
McEvoy, R.
George, K.
Thompson, K.
Catcheside, P.
Citation: Journal of Applied Physiology, 2008; 104(5):1426-1435
Publisher: Amer Physiological Soc
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 8750-7587
Statement of
Danny J. Eckert, R. Doug McEvoy, Kate E. George, Kieron J. Thomson, and Peter G. Catcheside
Abstract: Hypoxia can depress ventilation, respiratory load sensation, and the cough reflex, and potentially other protective respiratory reflexes such as respiratory muscle responses to increased respiratory load. In sleep-disordered breathing, increased respiratory load and hypoxia frequently coexist. This study aimed to examine the effects of hypoxia on the reflex responses of 1) the genioglossus (the largest upper airway dilator muscle) and 2) the scalene muscle (an obligatory inspiratory muscle) to negative-pressure pulse stimuli during wakefulness and sleep. We hypothesized that hypoxia would impair these reflex responses. Fourteen healthy men, 19–42 yr old, were studied on two separate occasions, ~1 wk apart. Bipolar fine-wire electrodes were inserted orally into the genioglossus muscle, and surface electrodes were placed overlying the left scalene muscle to record EMG activity. In random order, participants were exposed to mild overnight hypoxia (arterial oxygen saturation ~85%) or medical air. Respiratory muscle reflex responses were elicited via negative-pressure pulse stimuli (approximately –10 cmH2O at the mask, 250-ms duration) delivered in early inspiration during wakefulness and sleep. Negative-pressure pulse stimuli resulted in a short-latency activation followed by a suppression of the genioglossus EMG that did not alter with hypoxia. Conversely, the predominant response of the scalene EMG to negative-pressure pulse stimuli was suppression followed by activation with more pronounced suppression during hypoxia compared with normoxia (mean ± SE suppression duration 64 ± 6 vs. 38 ± 6 ms, P = 0.006). These results indicate differential sensitivity to the depressive effects of hypoxia in the reflex responsiveness to sudden respiratory loads to breathing between these two respiratory muscles.
Keywords: respiratory reflexes
sleep-disordered breathing
DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01056.2007
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