Respiratory reflexes in the anesthetized miniature swine

L. Adams, D. A. Schneider, E. R. Schertel, E Bradley Strong, J. F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To assess the suitability of the miniature swine for studies of the control of breathing we evaluated the response of these animals to commonly used respiratory stimuli. Hanford miniature pigs were anesthetized with alpha chloralose and allowed to breathe spontaneously. Rapid lung inflations induced a prolonged expiratory pause proportional to load. Mechanical stimulation of the upper airways induced coughing. Central venous injections of C-fiber stimulants produced bradycardia, hypotension with apnea and/or rapid shallow breathing. CO2 rebreathing increased ventilation primarily through an increase in tidal volume; inspiratory time was not changed. Bilateral vagotomy caused a slower, deeper pattern of breathing, and significantly attenuated the ventilatory response to CO2; all other reflexes were abolished by vagotomy. Cooling the vagus nerves caused reversible blockade of the cough, inflation and C-fiber mediated reflexes in that order. We conclude that the pig can serve as a useful animal in which to study the control of breathing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-357
Number of pages15
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987


  • Capsaicin
  • CO-response
  • Cough
  • Hering-Breuer
  • Phenyl biguanide
  • Pig
  • Vagus
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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