Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Applied Science


Christopher Del Negro

Committee Members

Margaret Saha

Eric Bradley

Diane Shakes


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.

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