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J Physiol. 2003 May 15;549(Pt 1):327-32. Epub 2003 Apr 11.

Connections between respiratory neurones in the neonatal rat transverse medullary slice studied with cross-correlation.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

In the transverse medullary slice prepared from neonatal rats the hypoglossal nerve rootlets exhibit a bursting 'respiratory' rhythm as do neurones in the pre-Bötzinger complex (PBC). We used cross-correlation analysis of the rhythmic multiunit discharges recorded from hypoglossal nerve rootlets, hypoglossal nucleus neurones and PBC neurones to investigate the connections between these groups. All cross-correlograms computed between left and right hypoglossal nerves, and between hypoglossal neurones and contralateral hypoglossal nerves, displayed central peaks with broad half-amplitude widths (mean +/- S.D. of 29.6 +/- 10.4 and 37.3 +/- 6.0 ms, respectively), which we interpreted as evidence for activation from a common source. Five of the 18 cross-correlograms computed between left and right PBC neurones displayed peaks either side of time zero with narrower half-amplitude widths (mean +/- S.D. of 9.3 +/- 1.9 ms) superimposed on broader central peaks, which we interpreted as evidence for mutual excitation and common activation, respectively. Cross-correlograms computed between PBC neurones and contralateral hypoglossal neurones or nerves did not display consistent features, but some of those computed between PBC and ipsilateral hypoglossal neurones (two of eight) or nerves (two of five) displayed peaks with broad half-amplitude widths (mean +/- S.D. of 36.8 +/- 6.9 ms), offset from time zero by 6 ms (except for one at 18 ms), which we interpreted as evidence for excitation of hypoglossal neurones and motoneurones by PBC neurones. We concluded that rhythm is synchronised between left and right sides by mutual excitatory connections between left and right PBC neurones. The rhythm is transmitted to ipsilateral hypoglossal neurones by a paucisynaptic pathway. Both hypoglossal neurones and PBC neurones receive a common activation from as yet unidentified sources.

PMID:
12692183
PMCID:
PMC2342932
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2003.040204
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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