The resting membrane potential of the pacemaker neurons is one of the essential mechanisms underlying rhythm generation. In this study, we described the biophysical properties of an uncharacterized channel (U-type channel) and investigated the role of the channel in the rhythmic activity of a respiratory pacemaker neuron and the respiratory behaviour in adult freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Our results show that the channel conducts an inward leak current carried by Na(+) (I(Leak-Na)). The I(Leak-Na) contributed to the resting membrane potential and was required for maintaining rhythmic action potential bursting activity of the identified pacemaker RPeD1 neurons. Partial knockdown of the U-type channel suppressed the aerial respiratory behaviour of the adult snail in vivo. These findings identified the Na(+) leak conductance via the U-type channel, likely a NALCN-like channel, as one of the fundamental mechanisms regulating rhythm activity of pacemaker neurons and respiratory behaviour in adult animals.