1. Cutting one vagus nerve, while recording the pulmonary ventilation of each lung separately, has no unique effect on the ventilation of the denervated lung. Both lungs respond to unilateral vagotomy by an equivalent slowing and deepening of respiratory movement.
2. When the bronchus to one lung is blocked the first effect is a slowing and deepening of the respiratory movements recorded by the opposite lung. As oxygen want develops these movements become rapid and shallow.
3. With a combination of these two conditions, i.e., when the bronchus to one lung is blocked and its vagus nerve is severed, the pulmonary ventilation recorded by the opposite lung exhibits the same changes as may result from unilateral vagotomy alone, unaccompanied by occlusion of the bronchus.
4. From these facts it may be concluded that the slowing and deepening of breathing which follows unilateral vagotomy does not depend for its occurrence upon the passage of air in and out of the bronchus of the lung whose vagus nerve has been sectioned.
5. The slowing of respirations after occlusion of the bronchus to one lung and section of the corresponding vagus nerve still occurs even though the phrenic nerve on the same side has been divided. This indicates that the slowing of respirations following unilateral vagotomy does not depend on the movements of the diaphragm on the side of vagal section.
6. When the pulmonary artery to one lung has been ligated and the vagus nerve on the same side cut, the response of the other lung is the same as has been described, namely, its respiratory movements become slower and deeper. This is taken as evidence that the results of unilateral vagotomy are not dependent upon an intact pulmonary circulation.
7. The general conclusions from these experiments are that the slowing and deepening of respirations following unilateral vagotomy do not depend upon: (a) Passage of air in and out of the trachea. (b) Expansion and collapse of the lung. (c) Existence of a normal pulmonary circulation in the vagotomized lung. (d) Normal fluctuations in alveolar carbon dioxide tension, (e) Contraction and relaxation of the diaphragm on the side of vagotomy.
8. The slowing and deepening of respirations, alluded to, may be presumed to indicate that a normal reflex (the Hering-Breuer reflex) has been interrupted. Since this interruption occurs in spite of all the conditions enumerated under Paragraph 7, we must conclude that none of these conditions is essential to the existence of this reflex.