Respiratory Regulation

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  • Respiratory Regulation (RCC)
    • The Inspiratory Centre (IC)
      • Stimulates inspiratory muscles to contract at rest and during exercise
      • Chemoreceptors, thermoreceptors and proprioresceptors inform the IC.
      • The IC recruits the additional respiratory muscles, stermocleidomastoid and pectoralis minor, to contract.
    • The Expiratory Centre (EC)
      • Inactive at rest, but will stimulate additional expiratory muscles to contract during exercise
      • Barorecpetors inform the EC on the extent of lung inflation
      • The EC stimulates additional expiratory muscles, internal intercoastals and rectus abdominis, to contract
    • Respiratory Regulation At Rest
      • At rest, the IC is responsible for the rhythmic cycle of breathing
      • Nerve inpulses are generated and stimulate the inspiratory muscles causing them to contract, via the:
        • Intercoastal nerve to the external intercoastals and the phrenic nerve to the diaphragm
          • This causes the thoaric cavity volume to be increases, lowering the lung air pressure. lungs recoil causing a passive expiration.
      • The EC is inactive at rest as expiration is a passive process
    • Respiratory Regulation During Exercise
      • The RCC is chemosensitive and very receptive to chemical information
        • Chemoreceptors located in the aorta and carotid arteries pick up an increase in blood acidity, increase in CO2 concentration and decrease in O2 concentration
      • Neural Stimuli
        • Thermoreceptors inform of an increased blood temperature
        • Proprioceptors inform of motor activity in the muscles and joints
        • Baroreceptors, located in the lung tissue and bronchioles, inform of the state of lung inflation
    • As exercise intensity increases, the combination of the IC and EC control leads to an increased breathing rate and decreased breathing depth to maximise efficient respiration


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