Origin and regulation of vagal preganglionic neuron subtypes controlling airway smooth muscle tone

Grant number: 350333

Abstract

The primary role of the airways is to allow the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the environment and the lungs. However, the airways are not merely a series of static tubes, but rather their size (or caliber) is subject to breath-by-breath alterations, thereby regulating gas exchange to match the body's demands. Regulation of airway caliber is achieved largely by subconscious changes in the tone of the muscle lining the airway wall. Airway muscle tone is primarily under the control of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. Two distinct types of parasympathetic nerves innervate the airways: One type employs the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which causes ai..

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University of Melbourne Researchers