Neuronal activity in the respiratory network is functionally dependent on inhibitory synaptic transmission. Using two-photon excitation microscopy, we analyzed the integration of glycinergic neurons in the isolated inspiratory pre-Bötzinger complex-driven network of the rhythmic slice preparation. Inspiratory (96%) and 'tonic' expiratory neurons (4%) were identified via an increase or decrease, respectively, of the cytosolic free calcium concentration during the inspiratory-related respiratory burst. Furthermore, in BAC-transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the GlyT2-promoter, 50% of calcium-imaged inspiratory neurons were glycinergic. Inspiratory bursting of glycinergic neurons in the slice was confirmed by whole-cell recording. We also found glycinergic neurons that receive phasic inhibition from other glycinergic neurons. Our calcium imaging data show that glycinergic neurons comprise a large population of inspiratory neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex-driven network of the rhythmic slice preparation.