Glomus cell

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The glomus cell is not to be confused with the glomus body found in the dermis layer of the skin.

A glomus cell is a peripheral chemoreceptor, located in the carotid bodies and aortic bodies, that helps the body regulate breathing. When there is a decrease in the blood's pH, a decrease in oxygen (pO2), or an increase in carbon dioxide (pCO2), the carotid bodies and the aortic bodies signal the medulla oblongata to increase the volume and rate of breathing. The glomus cells have a high metabolic rate and good blood perfusion and thus are sensitive to changes in arterial blood gas tension. The signalling within the chemoreceptors is thought to be mediated by the release of neurotransmitters by the glomus cells, including dopamine, noradrenaline, acetylcholine, substance P and enkephalins.

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