Gregory D Funk

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Movement, the fundamental component of behavior and the principal extrinsic action of the brain, is produced when skeletal muscles contract and relax in response to patterns of action potentials generated by motoneurons. The processes that determine the firing behavior of motoneurons are therefore important in understanding the transformation of neural(More)
1. The involvement of excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors in the generation of respiratory rhythm and transmission of inspiratory drive to hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons was examined in an in vitro neonatal rat medullary slice preparation. Slices generated rhythmic inspiratory activity in XII nerves. The role of EAAs in rhythm generation was determined by(More)
The pre-Bötzinger complex (PBC) inspiratory center remains active in a transverse brainstem slice. Such slices are studied at high (8-10 mM) superfusate [K+], which could attenuate the sensitivity of the PBC to neuromodulators such as opiates. Findings may also be confounded because slice boundaries, drug injection sites, or location of rhythmogenic(More)
1. We have hypothesized that pacemaker neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex (pre-BötC) form the kernel for respiratory rhythm generation. A prediction of this hypothesis is that oscillatory behavior in some respiratory neurons could persist in the absence of synaptic transmission. In this study we used extracellular recording of neuronal activity in slice(More)
Glia modulate neuronal activity by releasing transmitters in a process called gliotransmission. The role of this process in controlling the activity of neuronal networks underlying motor behavior is unknown. ATP features prominently in gliotransmission; it also contributes to the homeostatic ventilatory response evoked by low oxygen through mechanisms that(More)
ATP is released during hypoxia from the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) and activates purinergic P2 receptors (P2Rs) at unknown loci to offset the secondary hypoxic depression of breathing. In this study, we used rhythmically active medullary slices from neonatal rat to map, in relation to anatomical and molecular markers of the pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC)(More)
We examined the effects of in utero nicotine exposure on postnatal development of breathing pattern and ventilatory responses to hypoxia (7.4 % O2) using whole-body plethysmography in mice at postnatal day 0 (P0), P3, P9, P19 and P42. Nicotine delayed early postnatal changes in breathing pattern. During normoxia, control and nicotine-exposed P0 mice(More)
The discovery of the rhythmogenic pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC) inspiratory network, which remains active in a transverse brainstem slice, greatly increased the understanding of neural respiratory control. However, basic questions remain unanswered such as (1) What are the necessary and sufficient slice boundaries for a functional preBötC? (2) Is the(More)
To understand the neural origins of rhythmic behavior one must characterize the central pattern generator circuit and quantify the population size needed to sustain functionality. Breathing-related interneurons of the brainstem pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC) that putatively comprise the core respiratory rhythm generator in mammals are derived from(More)
Synchrony and oscillations in neuronal firing play important roles in information processing in the mammalian brain. Here, we evaluate their role in controlling neuronal output in a well defined motor behavior, breathing, using an in vitro preparation from neonatal rat that generates respiratory-related motor output. In this preparation, phrenic motoneurons(More)