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Participation of glial cells in the central generation of respiratory rhythm and pattern

Grant number: 18/11356-4
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: February 06, 2019 - February 19, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics
Principal Investigator:Davi José de Almeida Moraes
Grantee:Davi José de Almeida Moraes
Visiting researcher: Jose Fernando Peña Ortega
Visiting researcher institution: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Juriquilla (UNAM), Mexico
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/06077-5 - Changes in the neural networks involved with the generation and control of sympathetic and respiratory activities in different experimental models of hypoxia, AP.TEM


Several studies have demonstrated that glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) are able to modulate the synaptic transmission, affecting the activity of neuronal networks. It is also evident that glial cells are involved in the central generation of respiratory rhythm pattern. The pre-Bötzinger Complex (pre-BötC), a critical site of inspiratory rhythm generation in rodents, contains astrocytes and microglia that display changes in intracellular calcium concentration synchronized with the neuronal respiratory rhythm. However, the cellular mechanisms involved in the modulation of synaptic transmission, by the glial cells, of respiratory neurons in pathophysiological conditions (inflammation, hypoxia and hypertension) have been little explored until today. Considering the methodological limitations to study the interactions between the glial cells and neurons, the aim of the present application to the Visiting Researcher Program is to discuss theoretical and methodological aspects, with undergraduate and graduate students and Researches working in Respiratory Physiology and Membrane Biophysics, related to the cellular mechanisms involved in the central modulation of the respiratory rhythm and pattern in the pre-BötC of rodents by the glial cells in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Clinically, the study of such mechanisms is relevant in conditions in which hypoxia and respiratory depression are implicated, including apnoea of prematurity, sleep disordered breathing and congestive heart failure. (AU)