Effect of oxygenation on breath-by-breath response of the genioglossus muscle during occlusion

E. B. Gauda*, J. L. Carroll, S. McColley, P. L. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We investigated the effect of different levels of O2 tension (hypoxia, normoxia, and hyperoxia) on the breath-by-breath onset and peak electromyographic (EMG) activity of the genioglossus (GG) muscle during a five-breath end-expiratory tracheal occlusion of 20- to 30-s duration. GG and diaphragmatic (DIA) EMG activity were measured with needle electrodes in eight anesthetized tracheotomized adult cats. In response to occlusion, the increase in the number of animals with GG EMG activity was different during hypoxia, normoxia, and hyperoxia (P = 0.003, Friedman). During hypoxia, eight of eight of the animals had GG EMG activity by the third occluded effort. In contrast, during normoxia, only four of eight and, during hyperoxia, only three of eight animals had GG EMG activity throughout the entire five-breath occlusion. Similarly, at release of the occlusion, more animals had persistent GG EMG activity on the postocclusion breaths during hypoxia than during normoxia or hyperoxia. Breath-by-breath augmentation of peak amplitude of the GG and DIA EMGs on each occluded effort was accentuated during hypoxia (P < 0.01) and abolished during hyperoxia (P = 0.10). These results suggest that hypoxemia is a major determinant of the rapidity of onset, magnitude, and sustained activity of upper airway muscles during airway occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • chemoreceptors
  • mechanoreceptors
  • upper airway muscles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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