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Schematic representation of healthy and sick airway wall and neural control mechanisms

Neural control of airways

The parts of the extensive neural network in human airways and lung parenchyma studied best are

These pathways influence the function of smooth muscles, bronchial glands, airway blood vessels and even immune cells.

J-receptors and sensations they induce

Afferent and efferent impulses travel via the vagal nerve. Afferent information derives from slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors, rapidly adapting irritant receptors, and from J-receptors. There is increasing evidence that antidromic transmission through unmyelinated C-fibers leads to local axon reflexes within the airways.

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