Article

Midbrain serotonergic neurons are central pH chemoreceptors

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 12/2003; 6(11):1139-40. DOI: 10.1038/nn1130
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Serotonergic neurons in the medulla are central respiratory chemoreceptors. Here we show that serotonergic neurons in the midbrain of rats are also highly chemosensitive to small changes in CO2/pH and are closely associated with large penetrating arteries. We propose that midbrain raphé neurons are sensors of blood CO2 that maintain pH homeostasis by inducing arousal, anxiety and changes in cerebrovascular tone in response to respiratory acidosis.

1 Follower
 · 
167 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by social abnormalities. Genetic, dietary and gut-related factors are implicated in autism, however the causal properties of these factors and how they may interact are unclear. Propionic acid (PPA) is a product of gut microbiota and a food preservative. PPA has been linked to autism, and PPA administration to rats is an animal model of the condition. Seizure-prone (FAST) and seizure-resistant (SLOW) rats were initially developed to investigate differential vulnerability to developing epilepsy. However, FAST rats also display autistic-like features, and have been proposed as a genetic model of autism. Here we examined the effects of PPA on social behavior in FAST and SLOW rats. A single intracerebroventricular injection of PPA, or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), was administered to young-adult male FAST and SLOW rats. Immediately after treatment, rats were placed in same-treatment and same-strain pairs, and underwent social behavior testing. PPA induced social abnormalities in both FAST and SLOW rat strains. While there was no evidence of social impairment in FAST rats that were not treated with PPA, these rats were hyperactive relative to SLOW rats. Post-mortem immunofluorescence analysis of brain tissue indicated that PPA treatment resulted in increased astrogliosis in the corpus callosum and cortex compared to PBS treatment. FAST rats had increased astrogliosis in the cortex compared to SLOW rats. Together these findings support the use of PPA as a rat model of autism, but indicate there are no interactive effects between the PPA and FAST models. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Behavioural Brain Research 11/2014; 278C:542-548. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.10.050 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Panic attacks (PAs), the core feature of panic disorder, represent a common phenomenon in the general adult population and are associated with a considerable decrease in quality of life and high health care costs. To date, the underlying pathophysiology of PAs is not well understood. A unique feature of PAs is that they represent a rare example of a psychopathological phenomenon that can be reliably modeled in the laboratory in panic disorder patients and healthy volunteers. The most effective techniques to experimentally trigger PAs are those that acutely disturb the acid-base homeostasis in the brain: inhalation of carbon dioxide (CO2), hyperventilation, and lactate infusion. This review particularly focuses on the use of CO2 inhalation in humans and rodents as an experimental model of panic. Besides highlighting the different methodological approaches, the cardio-respiratory and the endocrine responses to CO2 inhalation are summarized. In addition, the relationships between CO2 level, changes in brain pH, the serotonergic system, and adaptive physiological and behavioral responses to CO2 exposure are presented. We aim to present an integrated psychological and neurobiological perspective. Remaining gaps in the literature and future perspectives are discussed.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Serotonergic neurons modulate behavioral and physiological responses from aggression and anxiety to breathing and thermoregulation. Disorders involving serotonin (5HT) dysregulation are commensurately heterogeneous and numerous. We hypothesized that this breadth in functionality derives in part from a developmentally determined substructure of distinct subtypes of 5HT neurons each specialized to modulate specific behaviors. By manipulating developmentally defined subgroups one by one chemogenetically, we find that the Egr2-Pet1 subgroup is specialized to drive increased ventilation in response to carbon dioxide elevation and acidosis. Furthermore, this subtype exhibits intrinsic chemosensitivity and modality-specific projections-increasing firing during hypercapnic acidosis and selectively projecting to respiratory chemosensory but not motor centers, respectively. These findings show that serotonergic regulation of the respiratory chemoreflex is mediated by a specialized molecular subtype of 5HT neuron harboring unique physiological, biophysical, and hodological properties specified developmentally and demonstrate that the serotonergic system contains specialized modules contributing to its collective functional breadth. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.