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!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences