Robert A Neff

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GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the major inhibitory transmitter in the brain, goes through a transitory phase of excitation during development. The excitatory phase promotes neuronal growth and integration into circuits. We show here that spontaneous nicotinic cholinergic activity is responsible for terminating GABAergic excitation and initiating(More)
The heart rate increases during inspiration and decreases during expiration. This respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) occurs by modulation of premotor cardioinhibitory parasympathetic neuron (CPN) activity. However, RSA has not been fully characterized in rats, and despite the critical role of CPNs in the generation of RSA, little is known about the(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE An increasing body of evidence suggests that the purinergic receptor P2X, ligand-gated ion channel, 7 (P2X7) in the CNS may play a key role in neuropsychiatry, neurodegeneration and chronic pain. In this study, we characterized JNJ-47965567, a centrally permeable, high-affinity, selective P2X7 antagonist. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We(More)
Maternal cigarette smoking and prenatal nicotine exposure are the highest risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). During hypoxia, respiratory frequency and heart rate transiently increase and subsequently decrease. These biphasic cardiorespiratory responses normally serve to prolong survival during hypoxia by reducing the metabolic demands of(More)
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are essential to the normal function of the vertebrate nervous system. Aberrant function of VGSCs underlies a variety of disorders, including epilepsy, arrhythmia, and pain. A large number of animal toxins target these ion channels and may have significant therapeutic potential. Most of these toxins, however, have not(More)
Heart rate increases during inspiration and slows during postinspiration; this respiratory sinus arrhythmia helps match pulmonary blood flow to lung inflation and maintain an appropriate diffusion gradient of oxygen in the lungs. This cardiorespiratory pattern is found in neonatal and adult humans, baboons, dogs, rabbits, and seals. Respiratory sinus(More)
The rate and timing of information transfer at neuronal synapses are critical for determining synaptic efficacy and higher network function. Both synchronous and asynchronous neurotransmitter release shape the pattern of synaptic influences on a neuron. The PSD-95 family of postsynaptic scaffolding proteins, in addition to organizing postsynaptic components(More)
Complex postsynaptic scaffolds determine the structure and signaling capabilities of glutamatergic synapses. Recent studies indicate that some of the same scaffold components contribute to the formation and function of nicotinic synapses on neurons. PDZ-containing proteins comprising the PSD-95 family co-localize with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors(More)
The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are highly intertwined, both anatomically and physiologically. Respiratory and cardiovascular neurons are often co-localized in the same brainstem regions, and this is particularly evident in the ventral medulla which contains presympathetic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, premotor parasympathetic(More)
Most parasympathetic regulation of heart rate originates from preganglionic cardiac vagal neurons within the nucleus ambiguus. Little is known regarding the modulation of glycinergic transmission to these neurons. However, the presence of mu-opioid receptors and opioid-receptor-like (ORL1) receptors within the ambiguus, together with the presence of(More)