Hering-Breuer reflex

Sheng Han Tsai, Han Yu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It has been known that respiratory movement is controlled by the basal portion of the human brain. The control of breathing and interaction between the lungs, neuroreceptors and respiratory centers were only understood after the finding of Hering and Breuer. They found pulmonary stretch reflexes and suggested that vagal nerve could reflexly control the breathing pattern. With development of recording action potentials in single vagal fiber, it is now known that the pulmonary stretch reflex is mediated by slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors, which are located within airway smooth muscles. They could detect the pressure and volume change of the lung and inhibit inspiration and prolong expiration. This article also introduces characteristics of the receptors, measurement of the reflexes, and influence of other factors. We also review the clinical significance of the reflexes and possible association with pulmonary diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine of Taiwan
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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