Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics
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Breathing depends on interneurons in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC) derived from Dbx1-expressing precursors. Here we investigate whether rhythm- and pattern-generating functions reside in discrete classes of Dbx1 preBötC neurons. In a slice model of breathing with ~ 5 s cycle period, putatively rhythmogenic Type-1 Dbx1 preBötC neurons activate 100–300 ms prior to Type-2 neurons, putatively specialized for output pattern, and 300–500 ms prior to the inspiratory motor output. We sequenced Type-1 and Type-2 transcriptomes and identified differential expression of 123 genes including ionotropic receptors (Gria3, Gabra1) that may explain their preinspiratory activation profiles and Ca2+ signaling (Cracr2a, Sgk1) involved in inspiratory and sigh bursts. Surprisingly, neuropeptide receptors that influence breathing (e.g., µ-opioid and bombesin-like peptide receptors) were only sparsely expressed, which suggests that cognate peptides and opioid drugs exert their profound effects on a small fraction of the preBötC core. These data in the public domain help explain the neural origins of breathing.
Kallurkar, Prajkta S.; Picardo, Maria Cristina D.; Sugimura, Yae K.; Saha, Margaret; Conradi Smith, Gregory D.; and Del Negro, Christopher A., Transcriptomes of Electrophysiologically Recorded Dbx1-derived Respiratory Neurons of the preBötzinger Complex in Neonatal Mice (2022). Scientific Reports, 12(2923).