Serotonergic stimulation of the genioglossus and the response to nasal continuous positive airway pressure.
In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), abnormal pharyngeal collapsibility may be offset by increased mechanoreflex-mediated activity of dilator muscles while awake, but this reflex is inhibited during sleep and during application of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Direct activation of upper airway (UA) motor neurons in the hypoglossal nucleus by a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), paroxetine hydrochloride, may increase genioglossal electromyographic (EMG) activity (EMGgg) in a manner resistant to mechanoreflex inhibition. We studied the effects of paroxetine on EMGgg using an intraoral surface electrode during eupnea or room air breathing (RA), hypercapnia (HYP), and CPAP application in the presence of hypercapnia (CPAP + HYP) in 11 normal volunteers, using a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design. After 5 d of paroxetine, EMGgg activity increased significantly within each condition (p = 0.02). EMGgg during the conditions of HYP and HYP + CPAP were significantly greater than during RA for both placebo and paroxetine treatments (p = 0.006). EMGgg activity in HYP persisted during HYP + CPAP on paroxetine (183% versus 182% of placebo, respectively). We conclude that paroxetine produces an augmentation in EMGgg in normal subjects during wakefulness and that this effect persists during mechanoreflex inhibition. This is consistent with a central serotonergic effect.
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Published In/Presented At
Sunderram, J., Parisi, R. A., & Strobel, R. J. (2000). Serotonergic stimulation of the genioglossus and the response to nasal continuous positive airway pressure. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 162(3 Pt 1), 925–929. https://doi.org/10.1164/ajrccm.162.3.9907077
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine