Properties of postganglionic sympathetic neurons with axons in phrenic nerve

Agnieszka Bałkowiec, Pawel Szulczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to test the reflex and resting properties of postganglionic sympathetic neurons with axons located in the right phrenic nerve. The experiments have been performed on chloralose-anesthetized cats with both vago-aortic nerves cut. The somata or the postganglionic sympathetic neurons were located in the stellate ganglion. Axons of these neurons passed through the upper and lower phrenic nerve roots and through the phrenic nerve itself. The presence of cardiac and respiratory rhythmicities was detected in the activity of the phrenic postganglionic sympathetic neurons. Hyperventilation, which abolished burst discharges of the phrenic nerve, decreased the sympathetic activity by 14%. Systematic hypoxia (ventilating the animals for 2 min with 8% O2 in N2) increased the sympathetic activity threefold. The results of our experiments suggest that axons of the sympathetic neurons located in the right phrenic nerve could possibly be diaphragmatic muscle vasoconstrictors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Mammals, cat
  • Phrenic nerve, sympathetic fibers
  • Sympathetic neurons, postganglionic, in phrenic nerve
  • Vasoconstriction, in diaphragm, sympathetic axons in phrenic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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