Journal article

Evidence for multiple bulbar and higher brain circuits processing sensory inputs from the respiratory system in humans

Michael J Farrell, Tara G Bautista, Emma Liang, Damian Azzollini, Gary F Egan, Stuart B Mazzone



KEY POINTS: Unpleasant respiratory sensations contribute to morbidity in pulmonary disease. In rodents, these sensations are processed by nodose and jugular vagal sensory neurons, two distinct cell populations that differentially project to the airways and brainstem. Whether similar differences exist in bronchopulmonary sensory pathways in humans is unknown. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging during inhalation of capsaicin and ATP, showing that airway nodose pathways project centrally to the nucleus of the solitary tract, whereas jugular pathways input into the trigeminal brainstem nuclei. We also show differences between the efficacy of nodose and jugular stimuli to evoke cough an..

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