Contribution of vagal afferents to respiratory reflexes evoked by acute inhalation of ozone in dogs

Edward S Schelegle, M. L. Carl, H. M. Coleridge, J. C G Coleridge, J. F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Acute inhalation of ozone induces vagally mediated rapid shallow breathing and bronchoconstriction. In spontaneously breathing anesthetized dogs, we attempted to determine whether afferent vagal C-fibers in the lower airways contributed to these responses. Dogs inhaled 3 ppm ozone for 40-70 min into the lower trachea while cervical vagal temperature was maintained successively at 37, 7, and 0°C. At 37°C, addition of ozone to the inspired air decreased tidal volume and dynamic lung compliance and increased breathing frequency, total lung resistance, and tracheal smooth muscle tension. Ozone still evoked significant effects when conduction in myelinated vagal axons was blocked selectively by cooling the nerves to 7°C. Ozone- induced effects were largely abolished when nonmyelinated vagal axons were blocked by cooling to 0°C, breathing during ozone inhalation at 0°C, except that minute volume and inspiratory flow were higher. We conclude that afferent vagal C-fibers in the lower airways make a major contribution to the acute respiratory effects of ozone and that nonvagal afferents contribute to the effects that survive vagal blockade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2338-2344
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • airway afferents
  • control of breathing
  • lower airway C-fibers
  • lung mechanics
  • ozone-induced bronchoconstriction
  • rapid shallow breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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