A major cause of mortality after spinal cord injury is respiratory failure. In normal rats, acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces respiratory motor plasticity, expressed as diaphragm (Dia) and second external intercostal (T2 EIC) long-term facilitation (LTF). Dia (not T2 EIC) LTF is enhanced by systemic adenosine 2A (A2A) receptor inhibition in normal rats. We investigated the respective contributions of Dia and T2 EIC to daily AIH-induced functional recovery of breathing capacity with/without A2A receptor antagonist (KW6002, i.p.) following C2 hemisection (C2HS). Rats received daily AIH (dAIH: 10, 5-min episodes, 10.5% O2; 5-min normoxic intervals; 7 successive days beginning 7days post-C2HS) or daily normoxia (dNx) with/without KW6002, followed by weekly (reminder) presentations for 8weeks. Ventilation and EMGs from bilateral diaphragm and T2 EIC muscles were measured with room air breathing (21% O2) and maximum chemoreceptor stimulation (MCS: 7% CO2, 10.5% O2). dAIH increased tidal volume (VT) in C2HS rats breathing room air (dAIH+vehicle: 0.47±0.02, dNx+vehicle: 0.40±0.01ml/100g; p<0.05) and MCS (dAIH+vehicle: 0.83±0.01, dNx+vehicle: 0.73±0.01ml/100g; p<0.001); KW6002 had no significant effect. dAIH enhanced contralateral (uninjured) diaphragm EMG activity, an effect attenuated by KW6002, during room air breathing and MCS (p<0.05). Although dAIH enhanced contralateral T2 EIC EMG activity during room air breathing, KW6002 had no effect. dAIH had no statistically significant effects on diaphragm or T2 EIC EMG activity ipsilateral to injury. Thus, two weeks post-C2HS: 1) dAIH enhances breathing capacity by effects on contralateral diaphragm and T2 EIC activity; and 2) dAIH-induced recovery is A2A dependent in diaphragm, but not T2 EIC. Daily AIH may be a useful in promoting functional recovery of breathing capacity after cervical spinal injury, but A2A receptor antagonists (e.g. caffeine) may undermine its effectiveness shortly after injury.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants HL69064 and HL080209 . A. Navarrete-Opazo was supported by Fulbright scholarship. S. Vinit and B.J. Dougherty were supported by Craig H. Neilsen foundation post-doctoral fellowships.
© 2015 Elsevier Inc..
- Adenosine receptor
- Intermittent hypoxia
- Motor neuron
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinal plasticity