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Purpose. Retrograde neurotrophic factor transport blockade has been implicated in the pathophysiology of glaucoma. Stem cell transplantation appears to ameliorate some neurodegenerative conditions in the brain and spinal cord, in part by neurotrophic factor secretion. The present study was conducted to determine whether local or systemic bone marrow-derived(More)
Astrocytes provide structural and metabolic support for neuronal networks, but direct evidence demonstrating their active role in complex behaviors is limited. Central respiratory chemosensitivity is an essential mechanism that, via regulation of breathing, maintains constant levels of blood and brain pH and partial pressure of CO2. We found that astrocytes(More)
Phox2b-expressing neurons of the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN), located in the ventrolateral brainstem, are sensitive to changes in PCO(2)/pH, have excitatory projections to the central respiratory rhythm/pattern generator, and their activation enhances central respiratory drive. Using in vivo (conscious and anesthetized rats) and in situ (arterially(More)
Arterial PCO2, a major determinant of breathing, is detected by chemosensors located in the brainstem. These are important for maintaining physiological levels of PCO2 in the blood and brain, yet the mechanisms by which the brain senses CO(2) remain controversial. As ATP release at the ventral surface of the brainstem has been causally linked to the(More)
The combination of optogenetics and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is referred to as opto-fMRI. Optogenetics utilises genetic engineering to introduce light sensitive actuator proteins into cells. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a specialist form of magnetic resonance imaging concerned with imaging changes in blood flow and oxygenation, linked to(More)
Gap junctional communication in the adult CNS plays an important role in the synchronization of neuronal activities. In vitro studies have shown evidence of electrotonic coupling through gap junctions between sympathetic preganglionic motoneurons and between somatic motoneurons in the neonatal and adult rat spinal cord. Electrotonic transmission of membrane(More)
Astrocytes might function as brain interoceptors capable of detecting different (chemo)sensory modalities and transmitting sensory information to the relevant neural networks controlling vital functions. For example, astrocytes that reside near the ventral surface of the brainstem (central respiratory chemosensitive area) respond to physiological decreases(More)
Heart failure may lead to hypoperfusion and hypooxygenation of tissues and this is often exacerbated by central and obstructive sleep apnoeas associated with recurrent episodes of systemic hypoxia which triggers release of ATP within the CNS circuits controlling sympathetic outflow. Using in vitro and in vivo models we tested two hypotheses: (1) activated(More)
AIMS Innate mechanisms of inter-organ protection underlie the phenomenon of remote ischaemic preconditioning (RPc) in which episode(s) of ischaemia and reperfusion in tissues remote from the heart reduce myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury. The uncertainty surrounding the mechanism(s) underlying RPc centres on whether humoral factor(s) produced during(More)
We briefly review the current literature where optogenetics has been used to study various aspects of astrocyte physiology in vitro and in vivo. This includes both genetically engineered Ca(2+) sensors and effector proteins, such as channelrhodopsin. We demonstrate how the ability to target astrocytes with cell-specific viral vectors to express optogenetic(More)