Pontine respiratory neurons in anesthetized cats

Dick, TE, Bellingham, MC and Richter, DW (1994) Pontine respiratory neurons in anesthetized cats. Brain Research, 636 2: 259-269. doi:10.1016/0006-8993(94)91025-1


Author Dick, TE
Bellingham, MC
Richter, DW
Title Pontine respiratory neurons in anesthetized cats
Journal name Brain Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-8993
Publication date 1994-02-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0006-8993(94)91025-1
Volume 636
Issue 2
Start page 259
End page 269
Total pages 11
Language eng
Subject 1309 Developmental Biology
1312 Molecular Biology
2728 Clinical Neurology
2800 Neuroscience
Abstract The pontine respiratory neurons (PRG) in the 'pneumotaxic centre' have been hypothesized to contribute to phase-switching of neural respiratory activity, especially in terminating inspiration. To define the neural elements involved in phase-switching, we recorded respiratory neurons extra- and intracellularly in anesthetized cats with an intact central nervous system. In total, 54 neurons were recorded: 49 neurons with activity modulated by central respiratory rhythm (20 inspiratory, 17 postinspiratory and 12 expiratory) and 5 neurons with activity correlated to tracheal pressure. The recorded neurons were clustered in dorsolateral pontine tegmentum within the Kölliker-Fuse (KF) subnucleus of the parabrachial nuclei. Stable intracellular membrane potential was recorded in 11 of the 49 respiratory neurons (8 postinspiratory, 1 early inspiratory and 2 inspiratory). During continuous injection of chloride ions (n = 6), synaptic noise increased and IPSPs reversed, including a wave of IPSPs during stage-2 expiration in postinspiratory neurons. Further, relative input resistance varied through the respiratory cycle such that the least input resistance occurred during the neuron's (n = 5) quiescent period. No IPSPs nor EPSPs were evoked in pontine respiratory neurons by vagal stimulation. In conclusion, various types of respiratory neurons were recorded in the KF nucleus. Prominent excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic activities were similar to those described for medullary neurons. These pontine respiratory neurons do not appear to receive a strong afferent input from the vagus. Rather, vagal afferent inputs seem to be directed towards non-respiratory neurons that are located more medially in the dorsal pons.
Keyword Cat
In vivo
Intracellular recording
Kölliker-Fuse nucleus
Neural control of respiration
Pontine respiratory group
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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