Central mechanisms I: Plasticity of central pathways

A. C. Bonham, C. Y. Chen, J. P. Joad, J. Bric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cough is the most common symptom for which individuals seek medical attention and spend health-care dollars. Despite the burden induced by cough, the current treatments for cough are only partially effective. Delineating the sites and mechanisms in the cough central network for changes in the cough reflex could lead to new therapeutic strategies and drug target sites for more effective treatments. The first synaptic target in the CNS for the cough-related sensory input is the secondorder neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS); these neurons reorganize the primary sensory information into a coherent output. The NTS neurons have been shown to undergo neuroplasticity under a variety of conditions, such as respiratory disorders, stress, and exposures to environmental pollutants. The NTS contains a rich innervation of substance P immunoreactive nerve terminals, suggesting that substance P might be important in altered cough reflex response. This chapter summarizes our current findings on the role of substance P in enhanced cough reflex as well as the potential NTS targets for the action of substance P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)


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