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Tuesday 12 June 2007

Effects of medullary Raphé stimulation on fictive lung ventilation during development in Rana catesbeiana.

By: Belzile O, Gulemetova R, Kinkead R.

J Exp Biol 2007 Jun;210(Pt 12):2046-56

To better understand serotonergic modulation of air breathing during bullfrog development, we measured changes in fictive lung ventilation frequency associated with focal stimulation of the rostral region of the medullary Raphé neurons. Electrical (3 to 33 Hz) and chemical (glutamate microinjections; 0.5 mol l(-1), 0.3-10 nl) activation of Raphé neurons was performed in brainstem preparations from three developmental stages (pre- and metamorphic tadpoles and adult frogs). Fictive lung ventilation was recorded extracelluarly from the Vth and Xth cranial nerves. Electrical stimulation of Raphé neurons caused a frequency-dependent increase in lung burst frequency in pre-metamorphic tadpoles only. In metamorphic tadpoles, an increase in fictive lung ventilation was observed at 20 Hz only. Electrical stimulation had no effect in preparations from adult frogs. Glutamate microinjections elicited similar responses as a lung burst frequency increase was observed in the pre-metamorphic group only. Regardless of the stimulation technique used, the increase in fictive lung ventilation was attenuated by the selective 5-HT3 antagonist tropisetron (5-20 micromol l(-1)). Results from immunohistochemical analysis of the Raphé region stimulated do not correlate with functional data as the number of 5-HT immunoreactive neurons within this region increases during development. We conclude that, in this preparation, stimulation of lung ventilation by the medullary Raphé is restricted to early (pre-metamorphic) stages.

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