Multiphoton/Confocal Ca2+-Imaging of Inspiratory pre-Bötzinger Complex Neurons at the Rostral or Caudal Surface of Newborn Rat Brainstem Slices

  • Nicoleta Bobocea
  • Araya Ruangkittisakul
  • Klaus Ballanyi
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 669)


Breathing is controled by neural networks of the pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC). We have previously established that multiphoton/confocal Ca2+ imaging is a potent tool for studying preBötC functions in transversal newborn rat brainstem slices. Here, we used such imaging to show that only 3 often dispersedly located preBötC neurons are typically inspiratory active per transversal imaging plane in slices with rostrally-exposed preBötC contrary to rhythmic optical activity in 11 densely aggregated neurons in slices with the preBötC at the caudal margin. In both slice types, glutamate raises Ca2+ in >30 cells (both neurons and glia). Factors are discussed that may be involved in the spatial inhomogeneity of superficially located active inspiratory preBötC neurons in both slice types.


Caudal Margin Brainstem Area Suction Electrode Inspiratory Neuron Slice Type 
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Supported by CIHR, AHFMR, CFI and ISRIP-ASRA. KB is AHFMR Scientist. AR was supported by CIHR studentship (MFN training grant), NB by Center for Neuroscience (UofA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicoleta Bobocea
    • 1
  • Araya Ruangkittisakul
    • 1
  • Klaus Ballanyi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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