In experiments published in the journal Experimental Physiology, Brazilian researchers have confirmed the importance of a specific group of neurons found in the retrotrapezoid nucleus
In a recently published study in the journal Experimental Physiology, Brazilian researchers have confirmed the importance of a specific group of neurons found in a region of the brain known as the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) in detecting changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and in modulating the activity of the neuronal groups that control respiratory activity.
Scientists from the Biomedical Sciences Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP) and the School of Dentistry at the São Paulo State University (Unesp) participated in the study.
"CO2 is important for regulating the acid-base balance of the blood. When the concentration of this gas becomes higher than normal, the blood tends to become more acidic, which promotes the activation of specialized sensors called chemoreceptors," said Eduardo Colombari, professor at the School of Dentistry at Unesp.
"Some of these chemoreceptors are located in the central nervous system; more precisely, on the ventrolateral surface of the medulla oblongata [the region of the brain responsible for neurovegetative control that forms the interface between the spinal cord and the mesencephalon] in the RTN," he explained.
According to Colombari, the neurons in this region express a specific marker that allows them to be identified. This marker consists of a transcription factor called Phox2b, which is involved in the cell differentiation of autonomic and respiratory neurons, that communicate with other neural groups responsible for controlling respiratory activity in order to keep CO2 levels within the physiological range.
Previous studies in the scientific literature, said Colombari, have suggested that various neuronal groups, such as the nucleus of the solitary tract, the raphe nuclei (which secrete serotonin), and the pontine and hypothalamic areas, were involved in the control of chemoreception (in this case, the detection and modulation of CO2 levels).
The group's work has demonstrated, however, that the respiratory changes caused by the increase in CO2 levels are compromised during the occurrence of selective destruction of the RTN neurons that express Phox2b.
The researcher further explained that the work illustrated how a small region of the brain contains neurons with a classic biochemical signature (Phox2b) which are involved in detecting and maintaining adequate levels of CO2, thus allowing the maintenance of homeostasis.
According to Colombari, advances in understanding the mechanisms involved in the perception of CO2 levels in the central nervous system could help prevent cases of sudden death in infants and adults in the future.
Samuel Antenor | Eurek Alert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy