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Righto, since you asked - BIOLOGIST AT WAR, engineers and techogeeks need not apply! ;)

The control of respiration.....

The respiratory system can be looked at, simply, as a feedback control system. The simplest feedback systems have the following components: output centre, sensors (which feed back to the output centre) and effectors:

1.Output center: brainstem (both medulla and pons), reticular activating system, the thalamus, hypothalamus and cortex (higher influence--behavioral controller).

2.Sensors:
    A.lung sensory receptors--stretch receptors the intercostal muscles (internal and external), irritant receptors located in the airway epithelium
    B.irritant receptors--activate cough reflexes; respond to irritant chemicals, vapors or particles.
    C.chemoreceptors--carotid body oxygen sensors (peripheral) and (central) ventrolateral medullary chemoreceptors.

3. Effectors: diaphragm, intercostal muscles, abdominal muscles, and accessory muscles of respiration

The respiratory control system functions to generate a rhythmic, coordinated series of inspiratory and expiratory events. One respiratory cycle can be divided into three distinct phases:

i) inspiratory phase--there is an increase in firing of motor nerves to the inspiratory muscles and pharyngeal dilator muscles
ii) post-inspiratory phase--a decrease in motor discharge to inspiratory muscles
iii) expiratory phase--during quiet tidal breathing, all neural activity to respiratory muscles is silent. Normal expiration is a passive process and is caused by the relaxation of the inspiratory muscles - this is mainly the intercostals muscles.

Brainstem controller:
Current theories of respiratory control combine groups of brainstem nuclei into inspiratory/expiratory clusters. These nuclei are spatially diverse in the brainstem, however, and there is no single inspiratory or expiratory nucleus, as was once thought.

Medullary Centers:
These are found in the medulla oblongata which forms part an oblong part in the middle of the brainstem (and you thought scientists had no imagination - shame on you ;) )

Dorsal Respiratory Group (DRG) - these upper motor neurons project primarily to the intercostal nerves. The DRG is the primary inspiratory center, and it is thought to control the timing of the respiratory cycle. The DRG is primarily an inspiratory center, and when stimulated in anesthetized animals, can initiate inspiration.

Ventral Respiratory Group (VRG): located ventrally (to the front) in the medulla and is composed of four nuclear complexes. Signals from these nuclei are to inspiratory muscles, pharyngeal/laryngeal muscless and expiratory muscles.

Pons:
The pontine respiratory center (PRC) most likely modifies the firing of medullary respiratory neurons by receiving and integrating afferents from higher brain centers (cortex), then modifying the output of the DRG and VRG.

Behavioral Inputs:
The normal rate and depth of respiration may be dramatically affected by wakefulness/sleep, reflexes (such as swallowing or sneezing), talking, singing, etc. Mood states such as anxiety or depression can also alter the rate and depth of breathing - this is why you will hear sooooo many divers harping on about "visualisation" and relaxation, the more relaxed, the lower the minute ventilation (SAC). You can voluntarily hold your breath or hyperventilate, though not indefinitely, and the limits of voluntary changes in respiration are often determined by blood gas tensions (O2 and CO2).

Sensors:
To this point, we have reviewed the basic neural circuitry involved in generating the respiratory rhythm; now, we will examine the sensors which increase or decrease the drive to breath.

Chemical control:
Since the mid 1800's, the stimulatory effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia on the respiratory system have been known. Chemical sensors, either peripheral chemoreceptors or central chemoreceptors control the ppCO2 (and ppO2) very tightly, by altering minute ventilation. Normally, ppCO2 never varies more than about ±2mmHg

Central chemoreceptors:
The major stimulus for ventilation in humans comes from the central chemoreceptors responding to HCO3-/H+ (CO2 dissolves into the blood to form HCO3- & H+ carbonic acid). The response to ppCO2 is generated in the brainstem on the surface of the medulla. A rise in ppCO2 causes an increase in Ph, which is conveyed to the brain through the carotid arteries. Changes in CSF pH for a given amount of CO2 are far greater than in the blood due to CSF containing far less H+ buffers. Approximately 85% of the respiratory system response to CO2 occurs at the central chemoreceptors; the remaining 15% of the CO2 response originates in the peripheral chemoreceptors

Peripheral Chemoreceptors:
Peripheral sensors that respond to an increase in blood H+ or CO2, or to a decrease in ppO2 and are located at the carotid arteries (carotid bodies) and in the aortic arch. The carotid bodies, however, contribute more to respiratory control than do the aortic arch receptors.

Now, I'm not going to cover all the mechanisms (partly because they are not all known, partly because I got my biology degree in '98 ;) ) but there are also several ways oxygen is release from the blood such as the CSF Bicarbonate Shift (responsible for the partial reversal of hypocapnia seen in response to high-altitude hypoxia), ventilatory response to hypoxia: (detected by the peripheral chemoreceptors when ppO2 decreases below ~ 60mmHg causing inhibition of the central chemoreceptors, Hering-Breur reflex.  I'm also not going into mechanical receptors and their effects on respiration (i.e. Pulmonary Stretch Receptors & C-fibres) but will mention the mammalian diving reflex and effects of anticipation

This occurs when diving to or past approximately 5-8m. The mammalian diving reflex consists of bradycardia (slowing of the heart rate) and shunting of the blood from non-essential organs such as the viscera and to the essential organs such as the brain, lungs and heart.

During exercise, alveolar ventilation changes during exercise to match the increased production of CO2 and demand for O2. This matching however appears to occur far faster than is possible simply by changed in blood Ph or ppCO2. The exact mechanism(s) that matches ventilation to the increased production of CO2 is unknown at present and has been thought to result from an increase in body temperature, cortical "anticipation" of exercise, and mechanical inputs from muscle and joint receptors.

Righty ho, I hope that has answered a few questions. A question was recently posed as to whether Nitrox (higher ppO2) would cause a decrease in minute volume. To be honest, I can't see how apart from the diver being more relaxed. I know that pure oxygen does have theraputic uses and did think that it could potentially due to low acidosis levels but was told the following;

"For any given change in blood pH, there is a larger increase in ventilation for respiratory acidosis than metabolic acidosis, since the protons from organic acids (such as lactic acid or ketoacids) do not cross the blood-brain barrier as quickly as CO2; thus, changes in blood H+ concentrations (due to the production of organic acids) are sensed centrally only over a period of hours, even though H+ rapidly stimulates peripheral chemoreceptors."

So okay, there will be a higher ppO2 on Nitrox but due to the mammalian diving reflex and ppO2 being subservient to ppCO2 and glycolysis in the absence of oxidative phosphorylation ruled out, I am afraid Mr. Tierney I can't support your claims - I think it's a mental thing!


A few terms for you, just to sum up.....

Apnea: cessation of respiration, breath holding
Eupnea: normal respiratory rate, rhythm and depth.
Hypocapnea: an increase in minute ventilation causing a reduction in ppCO2.
Hypercapnea: a decrease in minute ventilation causing an increase in ppCO2.
Hyperventilation: refers to an increase in minute ventilation disproportionate to the metabolic production of CO2. (ppCO2 <37mmHg).
Hypoventilation: refers to a decrease in minute ventilation disproportionate to the metabolic production of CO2. (ppCO2 >43mmHg).
Hypoxia: a reduction in oxygen supply to the body tissues
Anoxia: an absence of oxygen
Tachypnea: an increase in respiratory rate.



(Edited by Driftwood at 10:40 am on July 17, 2002)
 

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C-in-C the Amphibious Contingent
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Drift, are you bored today sweetie?  
 

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C-in-C the Amphibious Contingent
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So please tell the purpose of your post.  P.S.  Got wet lately?
 

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I thought I'd start a new thread rather than continuing page 6 of "Twinning" since Brenster was claiming Nitrox gave him a lower SAC . I posted this

a) Knowledge for all
b) To show I knew of no physiological reason why this may happen
c) I was bored okay!!

Didn't think I needed a reason.....

Sorry boss!

And was wet on Wedsday last week and will be out Sunday (hopefully)

PS Keep an eye on the post!
 

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Where are you off to on Sunday?  Hope to dive with BF, dive site unknown at the moment, but the Caves were pretty good last weekend.  Got my breathing rate down to 10.78l/m so with any luck I'll have it a bit lower this weekend.  Then I'm at Cleveland exhibiting my furry babies in a national show, then I have a Scottish show.  Wonder if my buck will hiss at me again at bathtime like he did the last time?  Bored?  Told you so!!  :tongue2:
 

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Erm...effectively, Drift, are you saying that when the ppCO2 in your lungs gets to c0.04 you want to breathe out? That was the reason I read (I think, not so long ago in D***r Mag) that breathing nitrox wouldn't give you improved gas consumption for reasons other than the psychological.
PS I don't suppose I dare ask who your furry babies are, Frog..? :monkey_2:
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Quote: from PaulC on 7:56 pm on July 17, 2002
Erm...effectively, Drift, are you saying that when the ppCO2 in your lungs gets to c0.04 you want to breathe out? That was the reason I read (I think, not so long ago in D***r Mag) that breathing nitrox wouldn't give you improved gas consumption for reasons other than the psychological.
PS I don't suppose I dare ask who your furry babies are, Frog..? :monkey_2:
<span =''>

No, not in the slightest. I believe that acidosis of the pulmonary tissues (CO2 in the lungs) is a stimulus for breathing but cannot from memory remember to what degree. The majority of stimuli come from the pH (acidity) of the blood as CO2 dissolved into the plasma to form carbonic acid. You could cause a raising (less acidic) of the Ph (potential of hydrogen btw. - can't remember much more from chemistry in '93!) to surpress ventilation but CO2 accumulation in the lungs would still occur over the period of apnea. During this time the CO2 level in the bloodstream would rise (and O2 fall) until one of the stimuli was activated - at what point and how strongly the lungs would influence this I don't honestly know....

I do know, however about shallow water blackout (latent hypoxia) - from scubadoc's website...

"SHALLOW-WATER BLACKOUT (Latent hypoxia)

Shallow-water blackout (SWB) is the sudden loss of consciousness caused by oxygen starvation following a breath holding dive. This was first described by S. Miles as "latent hypoxia", shallow water blackout is the term he ascribed to unexplained loss of consciousness in divers using closed-circuit oxygen breathing apparatus at shallow depths. Unconsciousness strikes most commonly within 15 feet (five meters) of the surface, where expanding, oxygen-hungry lungs literally suck oxygen from the divers blood. Once you lose consciousness you die. The blackout occurs quickly, insidiously and without warning. Mercifully, the victims of this condition die without any idea of their impending death. "

http://www.scuba-doc.com/latenthypoxia.html

The reason this strikes at 5m is that is when the mammalian diving reflex stops and the Hering-Breur effect (mass dumping of O2 to the tissues) also stops. Therefore the body is suddenly starved of O2 and if already depleted (following hyperventilation and dynamic apnea) the circulatory levels of O2 can fall below that required for consciousness...... Holey !!!! Yup, it's bad... I lamost had this once as I was diving with a local (now out of business thank god!) shop and was given a dodgy reg. I had difficulty using it due to a high cracking pressure and inspiratory resistance (I tell you, my back and ribs the next day were killing me) and when surfacing went light headed, got tunnel vision and had to do an emergency bouyant ascent (byebye weightbelt)

So back to the point. This suggests to me that acidosis in the lungs is NOT a strong enough stimuli to overcome an inducded low Ph.

As for nitrox, see my post on the twinning debate page 6......

Oh, work to do....

PS Yes, Frog's babies are nice and furry... and chew mobile phones eh Frog? And yes, bored again.....


(Edited by Driftwood at 8:15 am on July 18, 2002)
 

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To answer Paul C's question, my furry little babies are 2 pink eyed white rats.  My doe Kreesa is a pedigree and has stormed home with 3 x 1st prizes, including Best in Show (a ratty Crufts)and has taken a couple of seconds too.  My buck Vesna is our rescue case, although he has won 1st prize himself.  Drift - yes, they chewed my mobile.  And my curtains, carpet, door, bathmat, and anything else they can get their paws on...  :biggrin:
 

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Hey Frog....my seven Norwegian Forest cats want to meet your two white rats for a dinner date! :gator:
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Quote: from Eddie on 11:06 am on July 18, 2002
Hey Frog....my seven Norwegian Forest cats want to meet your two white rats for a dinner date! :gator:
<span =''>

Eddie, you are either VERY brave or VERY foolish talking about :froggy: 's :mouse04: like that!
 

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Eddie - you know where you can stick your Norwegian cats!  All 7 of them.  I will help you if you like.  Then my rats and I will find all the munchable goodies you have and scoff the lot!  They eat ANYTHING - except bought pizza, raw onions, raisins and currants.  :burgereater:
 

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:eek:fftopic: :rofl: They sound cute... :small: any photos? :)froggy:, that is, not Eddie...no offence mate but I'm not quite sure how cute norwegian forest cats are, are they the sort that ring your camp fire at night and move slowly nearer until you can see their eyes glittering in the dying flames, as your fuel runs low and your hope of rescue fades? :jaguar:
PS thanks Drift, :umnik: I think I see...
 

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Paul, yup, lots of photos of my furry babies, with their prize rosettes as well.  Do you want to carry on this discussion off line (e-mail) as it's not really anything to do with diving?  I don't fancy being in trouble from Mr. Heads Up for misuse of forums thank you!!  :director:
 

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That's easy to avoid, Frog: Put them in a plastic bag, attach a direct feed, and take them diving with you.
Instantly back on-topic ;)
 

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Williamson - you and I are in danger of falling out sunshine!!  I might put you in a plastic bag.  And suspend it from somewhere very high.  The Middlesborough transporter brige might be a good starting place...  

(Edited by Frog at 10:28 am on July 19, 2002)
 
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