Periodic breathing in the mouse
Journal of applied physiology
The hypothesis was that unstable breathing might be triggered by a brief hypoxia challenge in C57BL/6J (B6) mice, which in contrast to A/J mice are known not to exhibit short-term potentiation; as a consequence, instability of ventilatory behavior could be inherited through genetic mechanisms. Recordings of ventilatory behavior by the plethsmography method were made when unanesthetized B6 or A/J animals were reoxygenated with 100% O2 or air after exposure to 8% O2 or 3% CO2-10% O2 gas mixtures.
... Second, we examined the ventilatory behavior after termination of poikilocapnic hypoxia stimuli in recombinant inbred strains derived from B6 and A/J animals. Periodic breathing (PB) was defined as clustered breathing with either waxing and waning of ventilation or recurrent end-expiratory pauses (apnea) of Ն2 average breath durations, each pattern being repeated with a cycle number Ն3. With the abrupt return to room air from 8% O2, 100% of the 10 B6 mice exhibited PB. Among them, five showed breathing oscillations with apnea, but none of the 10 A/J mice exhibited cyclic oscillations of breathing. When the animals were reoxygenated after 3% CO2-10% O2 challenge, no PB was observed in A/J mice, whereas conditions still induced PB in B6 mice. (During 100% O2 reoxygenation, all 10 B6 mice had PB with apnea.) Expression of PB occurred in some but not all recombinant mice and was not associated with the pattern of breathing at rest. We conclude that differences in expression of PB between these strains indicate that genetic influences strongly affect the stability of ventilation in the mouse.