Force-detecting protein senses when lungs fill with air

Mouse study reveals mechanical sensor that helps regulate breathing

mouse lung nerve endings

BREATHLESS  Nerve endings in the lungs send signals — triggered by force-detecting proteins — to the brain and spinal cord that help regulate breathing. When mice lack these proteins in particular clusters of nerves, the mice either die within 24 hours of birth (blue, purple) or have breathing problems as adults (red).

C. Goridis/Nature 2016

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Life

From the Nature Index

Paid Content