Extensive monosynaptic inhibition of ventral respiratory group neurons by augmenting neurons in the Bötzinger complex in the cat

Exp Brain Res. 1990;81(3):639-48. doi: 10.1007/BF02423514.


Axonal projections and synaptic connectivity of expiratory Bötzinger neurons with an augmenting firing pattern (Bot-Aug neurons) to neurons in the ipsilateral ventral respiratory group (VRG) were studied in anaesthetized cats. Antidromic mapping revealed extensive axonal arborizations of Bot-Aug neurons (24 of 45) to the rostral or caudal VRG, with some having arbors in both regions. Of 234 pairs of neurons studied with intracellular recording and spike-triggered averaging, monosynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) were evoked in 49/221 VRG neurons by 38/98 Bot-Aug neurons. The highest incidence of monosynaptic inhibition was found in inspiratory bulbospinal neurons (10 of 23 tested). Evidence was also found for monosynaptic inhibition, by a separate group of Bot-Aug neurons, of expiratory bulbospinal neurons (12/58), while excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) were identified in another two of these neurons. In addition, monosynaptic IPSPs were recorded from 13 of 53 identified laryngeal motoneurons, and from 14 of 100 respiratory propriobulbar neurons. Presumptive disynaptic IPSPs were recorded from 11 of the 221 VRG neurons. We conclude that Bot-Aug neurons exert widespread inhibition on all major neuron categories in the ipsilateral VRG, and should be regarded as an important element in shaping the spatiotemporal output pattern of both respiratory motoneurons and premotor neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cats
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Laryngeal Nerves / physiology
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiology
  • Reflex, Monosynaptic / physiology*
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology