UTSA COS Summer Research Experience for 2013
Developmental Aspects of the Neural Control of Respiration
Current research projects will examine the developmental aspects of the neural control of respiration, focusing on central pattern generation and central respiratory chemoreception. An in vitro brainstem preparation of the bullfrog tadpole Rana catesbeiana has been developed in order to describe the cellular and molecular changes that take place in both central pattern generating neurons and central respiratory chemoreceptors during development from aquatic to aerial respiration. We have recently initiated experiments to examine the location and mechanisms of action of central respiratory chemoreceptors in the tadpole brainstem preparation. Using the pH sensitive dye BCECF, we will identify candidate central respiratory chemoreceptors and evaluate the possible mechanisms of internal pH regulation in these neurons. We are combining electrophysiology and fluorescence microscopy to identify the neural development of the cellular properties of central respiratory chemorecep.