In severe hypoxia, homeostatic mechanisms maintain function of the brainstem respiratory network. We hypothesized that hypoxia involves a transition from neuronal mechanisms of normal breathing (eupnea) to a rudimentary pattern of inspiratory movements (gasping). We provide evidence for hypoxia-driven transformation within the central respiratory oscillator, in which gasping relies on persistent sodium current, whereas eupnea does not depend on this cellular mechanism.
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We thank I. Rybak for comments on the manuscript. We are grateful for the financial support of the British Heart Foundation (to A.L.P.A. and J.F.R.P.) and the US National Institutes of Health (W.M.S.-J.). This research was also supported, in part, by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Paton, J., Abdala, A., Koizumi, H. et al. Respiratory rhythm generation during gasping depends on persistent sodium current. Nat Neurosci 9, 311–313 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1650
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