Dual responses of carotid chemosensory afferents to dopamine in the newborn kitten

F. Marchal, A. Bairam, P. Haouzi, J. M. Hascoet, J. P. Crance, P. Vert, S. Lahiri

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22 Scopus citations


The effects of dopamine and of dopamine D2 receptor blocker haloperidol on the activity of carotid chemoreceptors were studied in 24 anesthetized, paralyzed and artificially ventilated newborn kittens aged 0-17 days. Single or few fiber preparations of chemoreceptors were made from one carotid sinus nerve. The responses of the chemosensory afferents to intravenous injections of dopamine (5-50 μg·kg-1) were studied in kittens breathing air and 8% O2 in N2. The effects of haloperidol on the chemosensory activity in air or 100% O2 and on the chemosensory response to hypoxia were studied. Dopamine inhibited the chemosensory discharge in 25 44 studies in normoxia. Of the 9 studies performed in hypoxia, dopamine was excitatory in 5 or had no effect in 4 (P<0.05 vs normoxia). Inhibition of the chemosensory discharge was observed in 24 37 studies performed in kittens aged more than 3 days and was predominantly excitatory in 6 7 studies in kittens aged 0-3 days (P<0.01). One minute after haloperidol, the chemosensory discharge had increased significantly in all experiments. The biphasic pattern of chemosensory response to hypoxia (Marchal et al., Respir. Physiol. 87: 183-193, 1992) was not changed by haloperidol. The steady-state chemosensory activity was significantly increased after haloperidol, respectively from 3.9±0.7 impulses·sec-1 to 9.8±1.2 impulses·sec-1 in air, and from 13.1±1.4 impulses·sec-1 in hypoxia (mean ±SSEM, P<0.03). It is concluded that the dopaminergic mechanisms are active in the carotid body of the kitten, and the observed responses to dopamine and haloperidol are qualitatively similar to those reported in the adult cat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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