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Title: Mechanisms underlying the prolonged activation of the genioglossus following arousal from sleep.
Austin Authors: Dawson, Andrew;Avraam, Joanne ;Nicholas, Christian L;Kay, Amanda;Thornton, Therese;Feast, Nicole;Fridgant, Monika D;O'Donoghue, Fergal J ;Trinder, John;Jordan, Amy S 
Affiliation: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Respiratory and Sleep Medicine
Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2024
Date: 2023
Publication information: Sleep 2024-01-11; 47(1)
Abstract: Transient arousal from sleep has been shown to elicit a prolonged increase in genioglossus muscle activity that persists following the return to sleep and which may protect against subsequent airway collapse. We hypothesized that this increased genioglossal activity following return to sleep after an arousal is due to persistent firing of inspiratory-modulated motor units (MUs) that are recruited during the arousal. Thirty-four healthy participants were studied overnight while wearing a nasal mask with pneumotachograph to measure ventilation and with 4 intramuscular genioglossus EMG electrodes. During stable N2 and N3 sleep, auditory tones were played to induce brief (3-15s) AASM arousals. Ventilation and genioglossus MUs were quantified before the tone, during the arousal and for 10 breaths after the return to sleep. A total of 1089 auditory tones were played and gave rise to 239 MUs recorded across arousal and the return to sleep in 20 participants (age 23±4.2 years and BMI 22.5±2.2kg/m 2). Ventilation was elevated above baseline during arousal and the first post-arousal breath (p<0.001). Genioglossal activity was elevated for 5 breaths following the return to sleep, due to increased firing rate and recruitment of inspiratory modulated MUs, as well as a small increase in tonic MU firing frequency. The sustained increase in genioglossal activity that occurs on return to sleep after arousal is primarily a result of persistent activity of inspiratory-modulated MUs, with a slight contribution from tonic units. Harnessing genioglossal activation following arousal may potentially be useful for preventing obstructive respiratory events.
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsad202
ORCID: 0000-0002-3837-3609
Journal: Sleep
PubMed URL: 37503934
ISSN: 1550-9109
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Obstructive sleep apnea
pharyngeal dilator muscles
upper airway
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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