Intracelluar pH (pHi) Measurements in the In Vitro Tadpole Brainstem: Direct Correlations between Changes in pHi and Ventilation

Debora A. Zamora
2013 The Open Zoology Journal  
Central respiratory chemoreceptors measure pH in the brain stem and are an integral part of the neural circuitry that modulates respiratory rhythmogenesis, specifically in response to hypercapnic acidosis. Central respiratory chemoreceptor membrane potential and/or action potential firing rate are altered in response to changes in intracellular pH (pHi), which changes with the hydration of CO 2 in both the extracellular and intracellular space, however the role of cellular changes in
more » ... or properties on respiratory motor output has been difficult to identify. We studied whole nerve respiratory activity while simultaneously visualizing pHi dynamics using the pH-sensitive dye, BCECF, in the spontaneously active in vitro tadpole brainstem. The isolated, superfused tadpole brainstem is well oxygenated and retains synaptic connectivity among respiratory central pattern generators, central respiratory chemoreceptors, and respiratory motor neuronsunder physiological conditions, where mammalian preparations do not. An ammonium prepulse was used to selectively induce a decrease in pHi. Our results show intracellular pH is regulated differently in cells located in chemosensitive and non-chemosensitive regions of the tadpole brainstem during hypercapnia. We were also able to show an inverse correlation between pHi in cells located in chemosensitive regions of the tadpole brainstem and whole nerve respiratoryrelated activity. Using this approach, the microenvironment of individual cells may be manipulated while monitoring real time changes in pHi, neuronal activity and ventilatory-related activity to elucidate the role of a variety of signals in eliciting changes in ventilation.
doi:10.2174/1874336601306010008 fatcat:77mfvg6z2vayxkg2unvqedk4wa