Postnatal maturation of vagal respiratory reflexes in preterm and full-term lambs

Julie Arsenault, François Moreau-Bussière, Philippe Reix, Théophile Niyonsenga, Jean Paul Praud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The postnatal development of ventilatory reflexes originating from bronchopulmonary receptors was assessed in preterm vs. full-term lambs. Ventilation and arterial pressure were repeatedly measured in 10 preterm (gestational age, 132 days) and 7 full-term lambs without sedation from day 1 to day 42. The Hering-Breuer inhibitory reflex (slowly adapting stretch receptors) was assessed by the increase in expiratory time during end-inspiratory occlusion. The pulmonary chemoreflex (C-fiber endings) was assessed by the initial apnea + bradycardia + systemic hypotension and the secondary tachypnea after capsaicin intravenous injection. Results show the following. 1) Premature birth did not modify the maturation of the Hering-Breuer reflex. 2) Whereas a classic pulmonary chemoreflex was observed in the very first hours of life in preterm lambs, the tachypneic component of this reflex was weaker than in full-term lambs on day 1. 3) Premature birth led to a reversed postnatal maturation of this tachypneic response (tendency to increase with postnatal age). Our findings suggest that premature birth in lambs modifies postnatal maturation of the pulmonary chemoreflex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1986
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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