Regulation of trigeminal respiratory motor activity in the brainstem

H. Koizumi, K. Nomura, Y. Yokota, A. Enomoto, T. Yamanishi, S. Iida, K. Ishihama, M. Kogo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The trigeminal motor system participates in the control of respiration as well as suckling and mastication. However, the central mechanism underlying respiratory activity in trigeminal motoneurons is not well-understood. In this study, we aimed to elucidate brainstem circuitry for rhythm generation and signal transmission of trigeminal respiratory activity in in vitro neonatal rat brainstem-spinal cord preparations. We further examined the role of midline-crossing trigeminal interneurons in the bilateral synchronization of respiratory and suckling activity in trigeminal motor nerves. The results of brainstem-sectioning experiments indicated that respiratory rhythms were generated in the medulla and ipsilaterally transmitted to trigeminal motoneurons in the pons. We conclude that the trigeminal motor system, as well as the hypoglossal and phrenic motor system, is regulated by medullary respiratory networks, and that pontine interactions between bilateral trigeminal interneurons are not critical for the generation or synchronization of trigeminal respiratory activity, but are crucial for trigeminal suckling activity. Abbreviations: GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid; NMDA, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid; pBC, pre-Btzinger complex; V, trigeminal; XII, hypoglossal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1053
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Breathing
  • Jaw movement
  • Rhythm
  • Suckling
  • Synchronization.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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