Our previous study demonstrated that selective carotid baroreceptors activation decreases airway resistance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of carotid baroreceptor inactivation on the reflex change of respiratory resistance. Twenty healthy men aged between 20 and 25 were included in the study. Selective inactivation of carotid baroreceptors was induced by generating a positive pressure of 40 mmHg for 5 s in two capsules placed bilaterally on the neck over the bifurcation of the carotid arteries. The oscillatory method (Siregnost FD5, Siemens) was used to measure continuously respiratory resistance. Inactivation of carotid baroreceptors produced a short increase in respiratory resistance by 0.39 +/- 0.01(SE) mbar/l/s, i.e., 21.7% above the resting level. We conclude that in humans, carotid baroreceptors might have a background contribution to bronchodilator tone. This observation seems to be important for clinical situations of impairment of baroreflex function.