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Science. 2017 Mar 31;355(6332):1411-1415. doi: 10.1126/science.aai7984. Epub 2017 Mar 30.

Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
4
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.
5
Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
6
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. krasnow@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Slow, controlled breathing has been used for centuries to promote mental calming, and it is used clinically to suppress excessive arousal such as panic attacks. However, the physiological and neural basis of the relationship between breathing and higher-order brain activity is unknown. We found a neuronal subpopulation in the mouse preBötzinger complex (preBötC), the primary breathing rhythm generator, which regulates the balance between calm and arousal behaviors. Conditional, bilateral genetic ablation of the ~175 Cdh9/Dbx1 double-positive preBötC neurons in adult mice left breathing intact but increased calm behaviors and decreased time in aroused states. These neurons project to, synapse on, and positively regulate noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus, a brain center implicated in attention, arousal, and panic that projects throughout the brain.

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PMID:
28360327
PMCID:
PMC5505554
DOI:
10.1126/science.aai7984
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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