Multifunctional laryngeal motoneurons: an intracellular study in the cat.
We studied the patterns of membrane potential changes in laryngeal motoneurons (LMs) during vocalization, coughing, swallowing, sneezing, and the aspiration reflex in decerebrate paralyzed cats. LMs, identified by antidromic activation from the recurrent laryngeal nerve, were expiratory (ELMs) or inspiratory (ILMs) cells that depolarized during their respective phases in eupnea. During vocalization, most ELMs depolarized and most ILMs hyperpolarized. Some ILMs depolarized slightly during vocalization. During coughing, ELMs depolarized abruptly at the transition from the inspiratory to the expiratory phase. In one-third of ELMs, this depolarization persisted throughout the abdominal burst. In the remainder ("type A"), it was interrupted by a transient repolarization. ILMs exhibited a membrane potential trajectory opposite to that of type A ELMs during coughing. During swallowing, the membrane potential of ELMs decreased transiently at the onset of the hypoglossal burst and then depolarized strongly during the burst. ILMs hyperpolarized sharply at the onset of the burst and depolarized as hypoglossal activity ceased. During sneezing, ELMs and ILMs exhibited membrane potential changes similar to those of type A ELMs and ILMs during coughing. During the aspiration reflex, ELMs and ILMs exhibited bell-shaped hyperpolarization and depolarization trajectories, respectively. We conclude that central drives to LMs, consisting of complex combinations of excitation and inhibition, vary during vocalization and upper airway defensive reflexes. This study provides data for analysis of the neuronal networks that produce these various behaviors and analysis of network reorganization caused by changes in dynamic connections between the respiratory and nonrespiratory neuronal networks. (+info)
Discharge characteristics of laryngeal single motor units during phonation in young and older adults and in persons with parkinson disease.
Discharge characteristics of laryngeal single motor units during phonation in young and older adults, and in persons with Parkinson disease. The rate and variability of the firing of single motor units in the laryngeal muscles of young and older nondisordered humans and people with idiopathic Parkinson disease (IPD) were determined during steady phonation and other laryngeal behaviors. Typical firing rates during phonation were approximately 24 s/s. The highest rate observed, during a cough, was 50 s/s. Decreases in the rate and increases in the variability of motor unit firing were observed in the thyroarytenoid muscle of older and IPD male subjects but not female subjects. These gender-specific age-related changes may relate to differential effects of aging on the male and female voice characteristics. The range and typical firing rates of laryngeal motor units were similar to those reported for other human skeletal muscles, so we conclude that human laryngeal muscles are probably no faster, in terms of their contraction speed, than other human skeletal muscles. Interspike interval (ISI) variability during steady phonation was quite low, however, with average CV of approximately 10%, with a range of 5 to 30%. These values appear to be lower than typical values of the CV of firing reported in three studies of limb muscles of humans. We suggest therefore that low ISI variability is a special although not unique property of laryngeal muscles compared with other muscles of the body. This conceivably could be the result of less synaptic "noise" in the laryngeal motoneurons, perhaps as a result of suppression of local reflex inputs to these motoneurons during phonation. (+info)
Development of topography within song control circuitry of zebra finches during the sensitive period for song learning.
Refinement of topographic maps during sensitive periods of development is a characteristic feature of diverse sensory and motor circuits in the nervous system. Within the neural system that controls vocal learning and behavior in zebra finches, axonal connections of the cortical nucleus lMAN demonstrate striking functional and morphological changes during vocal development in juvenile males. These circuits are uniquely important for song production during the sensitive period for vocal learning, and the overall size of these brain regions and their patterns of axonal connectivity undergo dramatic growth and regression during this time. Axonal connections to and from lMAN are topographically organized in adult males that have already learned song. We wondered whether the large-scale changes seen in lMAN circuitry during the time that vocal behavior is being learned and refined could be accompanied by the emergence of topographic mapping. However, results presented herein demonstrate that most of these song-control circuits show the same broad patterns of axonal connectivity between subregions of individual nuclei at the onset of song learning as seen in adult birds. Thus, coarse topographic organization is not dependent on the types of experience that are crucial for vocal learning. Furthermore, this maintenance of topographic organization throughout the period of song learning is clearly not achieved by maintenance of static axonal arbors. In fact, because the volumes of song-control nuclei are growing (or regressing), topography must be maintained by active remodeling of axonal arbors to adapt to the changes in overall size of postsynaptic targets. A salient exception to this pattern of conserved topography is the projection from lMAN to the motor cortical region RA: this pathway is diffusely organized at the onset of song learning but undergoes substantial refinement during early stages of song learning, suggesting that remodeling of axonal connections within this projection during the period of vocal learning may signify the production of increasingly refined vocal utterances. (+info)
Regulation of baseline cholinergic tone in guinea-pig airway smooth muscle.
1. We quantified baseline cholinergic tone in the trachealis of mechanically ventilated guinea-pigs and determined the influence of vagal afferent nerve activity on this parasympathetic tone. 2. There was a substantial amount of baseline cholinergic tone in the guinea-pig trachea, eliciting contractions of the trachealis that averaged 24.6 +/- 3.5 % (mean +/- s.e.m.) of the maximum attainable contraction. This tone was essentially abolished by vagotomy or ganglionic blockade, suggesting that it was dependent upon on-going pre-ganglionic input arising from the central nervous system. 3. Cholinergic tone in the trachealis could be markedly and rapidly altered (either increased or decreased) by changes in ventilation (e. g. cessation of ventilation; hyperpnoea; slow, deep breathing) and by lung distention (via positive end-expiratory pressure). These effects were not accompanied by marked alterations in blood gases and were abolished by vagotomy or atropine. By contrast, tachykinin receptor antagonists, which abolished capsaicin-induced bronchospasm, were without effect on baseline cholinergic tone. This and other evidence suggests that capsaicin-sensitive nerves have little if any influence on baseline parasympathetic tone. Likewise, while activation of afferent nerves innervating the larynx can alter airway parasympathetic nerve activity, transection of the superior laryngeal nerves was without effect on baseline cholinergic tone. 4. Cutting the vagus nerves caudal to the recurrent laryngeal nerves, thus leaving the preganglionic parasympathetic innervation of the trachealis intact but disrupting all afferent nerves innervating the lungs and intrapulmonary airways, abolished baseline cholinergic tone in the trachea. Sham vagotomy or cutting the vagi caudal to the lungs did not reduce baseline cholinergic tone. 5. The results indicate that baseline airway cholinergic nerve activity is necessarily dependent upon afferent nerve activity arising from the intrapulmonary airways and lungs. More specifically, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that on-going activity arising from the nerve terminals of intrapulmonary rapidly adapting receptors determines the level of baseline airway cholinergic tone. (+info)
Effects of volatile anesthetics on the activity of laryngeal 'drive' receptors in anesthetized dogs.
Effects of halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane on laryngeal drive receptor activity were studied in the afferent activity of the superior laryngeal nerve in anesthetized spontaneously breathing dogs. Of 40 single units recorded, most of them (65%) responded to the volatile anesthetics applied to the isolated larynx at a concentration of 5%. The exposure to the anesthetics resulted in either an inspiratory increase (15%), both inspiratory and expiratory decrease (54%), or both inspiratory increase and expiratory decrease (31%) responses. The average discharge frequency of the receptors tended to be decreased on inhalation of the anesthetics, where significant decreases were observed in both respiratory phases for halothane and at expiration for isoflurane, but in neither respiratory phase for sevoflurane. These results support an advantage of sevoflurane over halothane and isoflurane for induction of anesthesia to minimize the influence of the activity of laryngeal drive receptors on the breathing pattern and airway stability. (+info)
Adaptation of guinea-pig vagal airway afferent neurones to mechanical stimulation.
1. Intracellular and extracellular electrophysiological recording techniques were employed to examine the mechanisms involved in adaptation of guinea-pig airway sensory neurones to suprathreshold mechanical stimulation in vitro. Extracellular recordings performed using an in vitro airway preparation revealed two unambiguously distinct subsets of mechanically sensitive nerve endings in the trachea/bronchus. In one group of fibres, the mechanical stimulus caused a brief burst of action potentials, after which the nerve rapidly adapted. In the other group of fibres, repetitive action potentials were evoked as long as the stimulus was maintained above threshold. 2. The adaptation response strictly correlated with ganglionic origin of the soma. Those fibres derived from the nodose ganglion adapted rapidly, whereas those derived from the jugular ganglion were slowly or non-adapting. 3. Intracellular recordings from airway-identified neurones in isolated intact ganglia revealed that the majority of neurones within either the nodose or jugular ganglion adapted rapidly to prolonged suprathreshold depolarizing current injections. 4. The electrophysiological adaptation of nodose ganglion-derived neurones following prolonged suprathreshold current steps was greatly reduced by 4-aminopyridine. However, 4-aminopyridine did not affect the adaptation of rapidly adapting nodose ganglion-derived nerve endings in response to mechanical stimuli. 5. The data suggest that ganglionic origin dictates adaptive characteristics of guinea-pig tracheal and mainstem bronchial afferent neurones in response to mechanical stimulation. Also, the rapid adaptation of nodose nerve endings in the trachea observed during a mechanical stimulus does not appear to be related to the adaptation observed at the soma during prolonged suprathreshold depolarizing current injections. (+info)
Generating sexually differentiated vocal patterns: laryngeal nerve and EMG recordings from vocalizing male and female african clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis).
Male and female African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) produce sexually dimorphic vocalizations; for males these include advertisement, amplectant, and growling calls, whereas female calls include ticking. Previous studies have shown that the vocal organ, the larynx, of the sexes differs in physiological properties that parallel vocal differences. However, it was not clear whether these characteristics are sufficient to explain sex differences in vocal behavior. To examine the contribution of the CNS to generating vocal patterns, we developed a preparation in which both laryngeal nerve activity and electromyograms can be recorded from awake, vocalizing frogs. Recordings reveal that the CNS of the two sexes produces patterned activity that closely matches each vocalization whereas the larynx faithfully translates nerve activity into sound. Thus, the CNS is the source of sexually differentiated vocalizations in Xenopus laevis. Furthermore, detailed analyses of compound action potentials recorded from the nerve lead us to hypothesize that neuronal activity underlying different male call types is distinct; some calls are likely to be generated by synchronous firing of motoneuron populations of either constant size or progressively larger sizes, whereas others are generated by asynchronous activity of motoneurons, a pattern shared with vocal production in females. We suggest that these distinct neuronal activity patterns in males may be subserved by two populations of motor units in males that can be distinguished by the strength of the neuromuscular synapse. (+info)
Effects of perineural capsaicin treatment on compound action potentials of superior laryngeal nerve afferents in sevoflurane-anesthetized dogs.
Effects of perineural capsaicin (CAPS) treatment on compound action potentials of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) afferents were studied in 6 sevoflurane-anesthetized dogs. Perineural CAPS (100 microg/ml) to the bilateral SLNs reduced (P<0.01) the peak and integral amplitudes of the C-wave of the compound action potential. By contrast, the perineural CAPS had no effect on the A-wave component (P>0.05). Removal of the perineural CAPS recovered the C-wave to pretreatment level. The perineural CAPS treatment selectively blocks C-wave compound action potentials of the SLN afferents, providing a useful tool for studies of laryngeal C-fibers in respiratory physiology. (+info)