Respiratory muscle coordination in acute spinal dogs

Mauricio A. Reinoso, Gary C. Sieck, Rolf D. Hubmayr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Our objectives were (1) to test whether respiratory muscles of spinal dogs can generate the alternating pattern of activation seen in intact animals and (2) to characterize the responsiveness of spinal rhythms to mechanical ventilation. We recorded the electromyographic activities of inspiratory muscles (diaphragm and parasternal intercostals) and expiratory muscles (triangularis sterni and transversus abdominis) in ten anesthetized dogs before and after transection of the cervical cord at levels C1-C2 (n = 2), C2-C3 (n = 6), and C8 (n = 2). In 9/10 dogs, we observed short lasting (3-4 min) rhythmic ventilatory muscle activity for up to 3 h after transection. Inspiratory and expiratory muscles contracted simultaneously, suggesting an absence of mechanism(s) responsible for reciprocal muscle activation on a spinal level. Five of ten dogs showed tonic rib cage activity during apnea that was phasically modulated during mechanical ventilation. From the absence of alternating inspiratory and expiratory muscle activity in acute spinalized dogs, we conclude that dogs do not have a spinal pattern generator for respiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Control of breathing
  • Dog
  • Entrainment
  • Mammals
  • Muscle
  • Pattern
  • Respiratory
  • Respiratory muscle with mechanical ventilation
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Respiratory pattern
  • Spinal cord
  • Transection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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