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Medullary serotonin neurons and central CO2 chemoreception. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 2009 Aug 31;168(1-2):49-58 PMID: 19394450 PMCID: PMC2787387


Serotonergic (5-HT) neurons are putative central respiratory chemoreceptors, aiding in the brain's ability to detect arterial changes in PCO2 and implement appropriate ventilatory responses to maintain blood homeostasis. These neurons are in close proximity to large medullary arteries and are intrinsically chemosensitive in vitro, characteristics expected for chemoreceptors. 5-HT neurons of the medullary raphé are stimulated by hypercapnia in vivo, and their disruption results in a blunted hypercapnic ventilatory response. More recently, data collected from transgenic and knockout mice have provided further insight into the role of 5-HT in chemosensitivity. This review summarizes current evidence in support of the hypothesis that 5-HT neurons are central chemoreceptors, and addresses arguments made against this role. We also briefly explore the relationship between the medullary raphé and another chemoreceptive site, the retrotrapezoid nucleus, and discuss how they may interact during hypercapnia to produce a robust ventilatory response.

Author List

Corcoran AE, Hodges MR, Wu Y, Wang W, Wylie CJ, Deneris ES, Richerson GB


Matthew R. Hodges PhD Associate Professor in the Physiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Carbon Dioxide
Raphe Nuclei

View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 19394450
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