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Substance P and central respiratory activity : a (...)

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1999 May ;114(2):217-27
Substance P and central respiratory activity : a comparative in vitro study on foetal and newborn rat.
Ptak K, Di Pasquale E, Monteau R.

Experiments were performed in vitro on foetal (embryonic days 18 to 21, E18-21) and newborn rat (postnatal days 0 to 3, P0-3) brainstem spinal cord preparations to analyse the perinatal developmental changes in the effects induced by substance P. Superfusion of the preparations with SP-containing artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) induced significant increase in the respiratory frequency of newborn rats (10-9 M), whereas concentration up to 10-7 M induced no change in foetal preparations. A whole cell patch clamp approach was used to record intracellularly from phrenic motoneurones. In newborn or E20-21 foetal rats SP-containing aCSF depolarised the phrenic motoneurones, increased their input resistance, reduced the rheobase current and shifted the frequency-intensity curves upward. In E18 foetal rats, no change was evoked by SP. A peptidase inhibitor mixture was used to block the enzymatic degradation of endogenous SP. This mixture was ineffective in changing the respiratory frequency in newborn and foetal preparations. In newborn rat phrenic motoneurones, the peptidase inhibitor mixture induced changes similar to those caused by SP but no change was induced in foetal rats. These results indicate that SP may modulate (i) the activity of the respiratory rhythm generator in newborn but not in foetal rats, and (ii) the activity of phrenic motoneurones at E20, E21 and in newborn rats but not at E18. Results obtained using the peptidase inhibitor mixture suggest that endogenous SP is probably not involved in the control of the respiratory rhythm in the prenatal period, but may influence the activity of the phrenic motoneurones after birth.


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