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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Injection of glutamate into the pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei of anesthetized rat causes respiratory dysrhythmia and alters EEG and EMG power.

The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT) has been shown to have important functions relevant to the regulation of behavioral states and various motor control systems, including breathing control. Our previous work has shown that the activation of neurons within the PPT, a structure that is typically active during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, can produce respiratory disturbances in freely moving and anesthetized rats. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that respiratory modulation by the PPT in anesthetized rats can be evoked in the absence of other signs of an REM-sleep-like state. We characterized electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) changes during respiratory disturbances induced by glutamatergic stimulation of the PPT in spontaneously breathing, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats anesthetized with a ketamine/xylazine combination or with nembutal. Respiratory movements were monitored by a piezoelectric strain gauge. Two-barrel glass pipettes were used to pressure inject glutamate, to probe for respiratory effective sites within the PPT, and to inject oil red dye at the end of the experiments for histological verification of the injection sites. The EEGs were recorded from the sensorimotor cortex, hippocampus, and from the pons contralateral from the injection site. The EMGs were recorded from the genioglossus muscle. The initial response to glutamate injection into the respiratory modulating region of the PPT was always a respiratory pattern disturbance. Subsequent activation of EMG and EEG often occurred in ketamine/xylazine-anesthetized rats, but REM-sleep-like patterns were not observed. Respiratory pattern and EMG power changes in nembutal-anesthetized rats were similar, but EEG activation was never observed. Thus, we conclude that respiratory suppression produced by the local activation of PPT neurons may not necessarily be accompanied by an REM-sleep-like cortical state in this anesthetized model.[1]


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