The inspiratory receptors that inhibit inspiration during hyperinflation of the lungs are the pulmonary stretch receptors, J-receptors, and Hering-Breuer reflex. The pulmonary stretch receptors are located in the alveoli and detect changes in lung volume. The J-receptors are located in the bronchioles and detect increases in airway pressure. The Hering-Breuer reflex is a reflex that is triggered when the lungs become over-inflated and results in a decrease in inspiratory drive.

Hering–Breuer reflex

The Hering-Breuer inflation reflexnamed for Josef Breuer and Ewald Heringit is a reflection triggered to avoid overinflation of the lung. lung stretch receptors present in the wall of the bronchi and bronchioles of the airways respond to excessive stretching of the lung during large inspirations.

Once activated, they send action potentials through big myelinated fibers of the vagus nerve to the inspiratory area in the medulla and apneustic center of bridge. In response, the inspiratory area is directly inhibited and the apneustic center is inhibited from activating the inspiratory area. This inhibits inspiration, allowing expiration to occur.

The Hering-Breuer inflation reflex should not be confused with the deflation reflex discovered by the same individuals, Hering and Breuer. Most of this page discusses the inflation reflection; the deflation reflex is considered separately at the end.


Josef Breuer and Ewald Hering reported in 1868 that sustained distension of the lungs of anesthetized animals decreased the frequency of inspiratory effort or caused transient apnea. Therefore, the stimulus was lung inflation.

anatomy and physiology

The Hering-Breuer reflex, simply put, is what prevents the lungs from overinflating with inspired air. The neural circuitry that controls the Hering-Breuer inflation reflex involves several regions of the brain. central nervous systemand sensory and motor components of the vagus nerve.

Increased sensory activity of pulmonary stretch afferents (via the vagus nerve) results in inhibition of the central inspiratory drive and therefore inhibition of inspiration and initiation of expiration. Pulmonary afferents also send inhibitory projections to cardiac vagal motor neurons (CVM) in the nucleus ambiguus (NA) and dorsal motor vagal nucleus (DMVN). The CVMs, which send motor fibers to the heart via the vagus nerve, are responsible for the tonic inhibitory control of heart rate. Thus, an increase in lung stretch receptor activity leads to MVC inhibition and heart rate elevation.tachycardia). This is a normal occurrence in healthy individuals and is known as sinus arrhythmia.

Breathing rate and depth

Early physiologists believed that the reflex played an important role in establishing the rate and depth of breathing in humans. While this may be true for most animals, it is not the case for most resting adult humans. However, the reflex can determine the rate and depth of breathing in newborns and in adult humans when tidal volume is greater than 1 L, such as during exercise.

Hering-Breuer deflation reflex

The Hering-Breuer deflation reflex serves to shorten exhalation when the lung is deflated. It is initiated by stimulation of stretch receptors or stimulation of proprioceptors activated by lung deflation. Like the inflation reflex, impulses from these receptors travel afferently through the vagus. Unlike the insufflation reflex, the afferents terminate in the inspiratory centers rather than the pontine apneustic center. These reflexes seem to play a smaller role in humans than in non-human mammals.

clinical use

The absence of this reflex contributes to the diagnosis of brain death.


External Links

Breathing To control lung volumes Circulation Interactions Failure

Source: Hering–Breuer reflex

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Search keywords Which Receptors Inhibit Inspiration During Hyperinflation Of The Lungs

1. Respiratory reflex
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4. Apneustic center
5. Vagus nerve
6. Inspiratory pause
7. Expiratory phase
8. Chemoreceptors
9. Central nervous system
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