Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 431, Issue 6, pp 942–949 | Cite as

Serotonergic and noradrenergic effects on respiratory neural discharge in the medullary slice preparation of neonatal rats

  • Z. A. Al-Zubaidy
  • R. L. Erickson
  • John J. Greer
Original Article


Rhythmically active medullary slice preparations isolated from neonatal rats (postnatal days 0-3, P0-P3) were used to study the modulation of respiraory rhythmogenesis and hypoglossal (XII) nerve discharge by serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and noradrenaline (NA). 5-HT, NA and their respective receptor agonists and antagonists were applied either to the bathing medium or focally via pressure injection into regions encompassing the pre-Bötzinger complex or XII motoneurons. The effects of endogenously released 5-HT were also studied by chemical stimulation of neurons within the raphe obscurus. The frequency of respiratory burst discharge was increased when 5-HT was applied: (1) to the bathing medium (37±16%; 30 µM; P < 0.05); (2) via pressure injection into the region of the pre-Bötzinger complex (22 ± 14%; < 25 pmol; P < 0.05); or (3) endogenously released in response to activation of neurons within the raphe obscurus via pressure injection of (R,S)-a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid hydro-bromide (AMPA, 34 ± 15%; P < 0.05) or 5-HT (33 ± 5%; P < 0.05). All of these effects were antagonized by bath application of methysergide (30-40 µM). NA caused a reduction of respiratory burst frequency when applied to the bathing medium (40 ± 15%; 100 µM; P < 0.05) or when pressure injected into the region of the pre-Bötzinger complex (22 ± 11 %; < 25 pmol; P < 0.05). These effects were blocked by the bath application of the a2-receptor antagonist idazoxan (2 µM). 5-HT and NA both caused an augmentation of tonic discharge of XII nerves when applied either to the bathing medium or via pressure injection into the XII motoneuron pool. The 5-HT-induced XII nerve tonic discharge was mimicked by the 5-HT2 receptor agonist R(-)2-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl) (DOI.HC1, 5 µM) and blocked by the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanser-ine tartrate (30-40 µM). The NA-induced XII nerve tonic discharge was mimicked by the α1-receptor agonist phenylephrine HC1 (500 µM) and blocked by the α1-receptor antagonist prozasin HC1 (@#@ 1 µM).

Key words

Apnea Hypoglossal Breathing Raphe Medulla Sleep 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. A. Al-Zubaidy
    • 1
  • R. L. Erickson
    • 1
  • John J. Greer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neuroscience, Department of Physiology, 513 HMRCUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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