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J Receptors

  • Pulmonary "J Receptors" are sensory cells located within alveolar septa and are "juxtaposed" to the pulmonary capillaries, hence earning their namesake. These cells are activated by physical engorgement of the pulmonary capillaries or increased pulmonary interstitial volume. Physical engorgement of the pulmonary capillaries can occur when blood backs up into the pulmonary circulation due to left heart dysfunction and increases in pulmonary interstitial volume occur in contexts of pulmonary edema. Although the role of J Receptors in normal physiology is unknown, it is thought that activation of J Receptors may be one of the afferent stimuli which induce the sensation of dyspnea in contexts of left heart failure or pulmonary edema.