Contribution of vagal afferents to breathing pattern in rats with lung fibrosis

Jim K. Mansoor, Dallas M. Hyde, Edward S Schelegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In anesthestized male Wistar rats with bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis we examined the influence of lung vagal non-myelinated and myelinated afferents in setting breathing pattern. Fourteen days after intratracheal instillation of bleomycin, lung compliance, total lung capacity (TLC) and inspiratory capacity were reduced while functional residual capacity and residual volume were increased. Baseline tidal volume (V(T)) was decreased and frequency (fR) increased in the bleomycin treated rats compared with controls. Selective vagal C-fiber blockade did not affect fR or V(T) in any group. Vagotomy resulted in an increase in V(T) and decrease in fR in both groups with the percent increase in V(T)/TLC and decrease in fR being significantly greater in the bleomycin rats compared with controls. Vagotomy also attenuated the significantly elevated P(CO2) in the bleomycin treated rats suggesting that bleomycin-induced alterations in breathing pattern contribute to blood gas abnormalities. We conclude that vagal myelinated afferents contribute to the rapid shallow breathing in bleomycin treated rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-61
Number of pages17
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1997


  • Bleomycin
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Vagal afferents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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