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Neural Regulation of Mucosal Function

Neural Regulation of Mucosal Function

  1. Gradient
    James N. Baraniuk, MD

    Nociceptive, parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves play critical roles in regulating glandular, vascular and other processes in airway mucosa. These functions are vital for cleaning and humidifying ambient air before it is inhaled into the lungs. Recent identification of subsets of nociceptive nerves has tipped the donkey cart of dogma and led to the discovery of new receptor and ion channel families that respond to culinary odorants (“aromatherapy”), inhaled irritants, temperature and other “humors”; a new interpretation of airway nociceptive nerve axon responses; and an understanding of the neural plasticity induced by inflammation and different neurotrophic factors.

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