Overview: The neurochemistry of respiratory control

Donald R. McCrimmon*, Gordon S. Mitchell, George F. Alheid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This special issue of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology surveys a broad range of topics focused on the neurochemical control of breathing. A variety of approaches have integrated the neurochemistry of breathing with the physiology of individual neurons, with the neuroanatomy of brainstem and forebrain respiratory circuits, and with the clinical pathology of respiratory disorders all of which has been fueled by the ongoing explosion of information in the molecular biology of the nervous system. Accordingly, substantial progress has identified neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, receptors, signaling cascades, trophic factors, hormones, and genes mediating normal and pathological breathing. Dynamic changes in the neurochemistry of breathing are addressed with respect to brainstem development, environmental challenges such as intermittent or chronic hypoxia, and as a function of the sleep-wake cycle. Respiratory disruption has also been identified in an increasing variety of genetic-based disorders and remarkable progress has been made in determining the affected genes and their mutations that negatively impact respiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 10 2008


  • Neurochemistry
  • Respiratory control
  • Sudden infant death syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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