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Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 103, Issue 2, pp 251–255 | Cite as

Cross-correlation of augmenting expiratory neurons of the Bötzinger complex in the cat

  • J. Duffin
  • J. van Alphen
Original Paper

Abstract

Ipsilateral and contralateral pairs of augmenting expiratory neurons were recorded simultaneously from the Bötzinger complex using glass-coated tungsten microelectrodes in pentobarbitone-anaesthetized cats. The neurons were identified both by firing pattern and by antidromic activation from the contralateral site of the dorsal respiratory group. Cross-correlation histograms of the extracellularly recorded action potentials were calculated in order to detect short time-scale synchronizations of firing indicative of synaptic connections between the neurons. The cross-correlation histograms for 40 ipsilateral pairs of neurons less than 1 mm apart showed eight (20%) narrow troughs (mean half-amplitude width ±SD, 1.1±0.37 ms) at short latencies (mean latency±SD, 1.0±0.35 ms) suggestive of monosynaptic inhibition. These included two cross-correlation histograms which showed troughs on both sides of time zero, indicating a mutual inhibition. For another four pairs of neurons (10%), a central broad peak suggestive of common activation due to either excitation or release from inhibition was evident. Contralateral pairs of expiratory neurons of the Bötzinger complex were examined in a similar manner. The cross-correlation histograms for 43 pairs of neurons showed five (12%) narrow troughs (mean half-amplitude width±SD, 1.2±0.67 ms) at short latencies (mean latency±SD, 2.7±1.47 ms) suggestive of monosynaptic inhibition. These included one cross-correlation histogram which showed troughs (one not statistically significant) on both sides of time zero, indicating a mutual inhibition. For another two pairs of neurons (4.6%) a central, broad peak suggestive of common activation due to either excitation or release from inhibition was evident. We conclude that inhibitory interconnections exist between augmenting expiratory neurons of the Bötzinger complex ipsilaterally and contralaterally. These connections may synchronize the expiratory burst of activity within this population and assist in the patterning of the burst.

Key words

Respiratory neurophysiology Cross-correlation Bötzinger complex Expiratory neurons Cat 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Duffin
    • 1
  • J. van Alphen
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Anaesthesia and PhysiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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