Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Science (BS)
Christopher Del Negro
Breathing is a primal behavior that emanates from neural rhythms in a region of the ventral-lateral medulla named the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC). Dbx1-derived preBötC neurons comprise the underlying core oscillator. Although we understand the network (preBötC) and cellular (Dbx1) origins of breathing, its molecular (ion channel-level) mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesized that transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels are responsible for inspiratory burst generation in Dbx1-derived preBötC neurons (i.e. Dbx1 neurons). In this study, we evaluate the contributions of TRPM4 and TRPC3 channels in inspiratory burst generation using electrophysiological techniques. Pharmacological inhibition of these ion channels in vitro attenuates the drive potentials that underlie inspiratory bursts in Dbx1- preBötC neurons. This suggests that these specific TRP ion channels are important for inspiratory burst generation in Dbx1 preBötC neurons and thus mammalian breathing behavior.
Dorst, Kaitlyn E., "The neural basis of breathing rhythm: TRPM4 and TRPC3 ion channels contribute to inspiratory burst generation in Dbx1-derived interneurons of the preBötzinger Complex in mice" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1040.
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