Lungs have odor receptors

Like the nose, lungs have odor receptors. But instead of sending nerve impulses to the brain that conjure up a burning cigarette or a cup of coffee, these receptors send a signal that may make you cough. Unlike the receptors in your nose, which are located in the membranes of nerve cells, the ones in the lungs are in the membranes of the flask-shaped neuroendocrine cells that at times are triggered to dump hormones that make airways constrict.

— Futurity, reporting on new research from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Iowa. Read more at Odor 'Guards' in Lungs Can Make Us Cough.

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  1. kindcrow says:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing. I will have to share it with my husband. I really like the following excerpt:

    “We forget that our body plan is a tube within a tube, so our lungs and our gut are open to the external environment,” says Yehuda Ben-Shahar, assistant professor of biology and of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. “Although they’re inside us, they’re actually part of our external layer.

    So they constantly suffer environmental insults and it makes sense that we evolved mechanisms to protect ourselves.”

    • Robin says:

      Plus, explains why my throat constricts immediately when I smell Narciso Rodriguez For Her.

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