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    The carotid body (CB) is a bilateral arterial chemoreceptor located in the carotid artery bifurcation with an essential role in cardiorespiratory homeostasis. It is composed of highly perfused cell clusters, or glomeruli, innervated by sensory fibers. Glomus cells, the most abundant in each glomerulus, are neuron-like multimodal sensory elements able to detect and integrate changes in several physical and chemical parameters of the blood, in particular O2 tension, CO2 and pH, as well as glucose, lactate, or blood flow. Activation of glomus cells (e.g., during hypoxia or hypercapnia) stimulates the afferent fibers which impinge on brainstem neurons to elicit rapid compensatory responses (hyperventilation and sympathetic activation). This chapter presents an updated view of the structural organization of the CB and the mechanisms underlying the chemosensory responses of glomus cells, with special emphasis on the molecular processes responsible for acute O2 sensing. The properties of the glomus cell-sensory fiber synapse as well as the organization of CB output are discussed. The chapter includes the description of recently discovered CB stem cells and progenitor cells, and their role in CB growth during acclimatization to hypoxemia. Finally, the participation of the CB in the mechanisms of disease is briefly discussed. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    José López-Barneo. Neurobiology of the carotid body. Handbook of clinical neurology. 2022;188:73-102

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    PMID: 35965037

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