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Brain Res Bull. 2018 May;139:16-20. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2018.01.013. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Confocal calcium imaging analysis of respiratory-related burst activity in the parafacial region.

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Department of Physiology, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Oral Physiology, Showa University School of Dentistry, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.
Department of Physiology, International University of Health and Welfare (IUHW), 4-3 Kozunomori, Narita City, Chiba 286-8686, Japan.
Division of Biology, Center for Molecular Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.


The parafacial respiratory group (pFRG) surrounding the ventrolateral part of the facial motor nucleus is one of respiratory rhythm generators that consists of pre-inspiratory (Pre-I) neurons. Previous studies showed that most of the Pre-I neurons locating in the Phox2b cluster of the rostral ventral medulla were also Phox2b positive and intrinsically CO2 sensitive. However, it is not clear what percentage of Phox2b-expressing cells in the pFRG of the ventral medulla are Pre-I neurons. To address this issue, we analyzed the activity of Phox2b-positive cells by calcium imaging using a confocal laser microscope in transgenic rats in which Phox2b-positive cells expressed EYFP. We found that more than 60% of the EYFP/Phox2b-positive cells showed Pre-I neuron-like rhythmic burst activity in the parafacial region of newborn rat.


Calcium imaging; EYFP; Parafacial respiratory group; Phox2b; Transgenic rat

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