Respiratory rhythm generation: Converging concepts from in vitro and in vivo approaches?

Jan Marino Ramirez, Steven P. Lieske, Edward J. Zuperku, George F. Alheid, Krzysztof Ptak, Donald R. McCrimmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The timing and activation pattern of breathing movements are determined by the respiratory network. This network is amenable to a variety of in vivo and in vitro approaches, which offers a unique opportunity to investigate multiple organizational levels. It is only recently, however, that concepts obtained under in vivo and in vitro conditions are being integrated into a coherent model of breathing behavior. For example, the pre-Bötzinger complex as an essential site for rhythm generation was first identified in vitro, but has since been verified in vivo. Conversely, timing signals provided by other central and peripheral neuronal areas have so far been investigated in vivo, but it is now possible to address these issues with more complex in vitro preparations. Several key issues remain unresolved. For example, to what extent is the respiratory pattern controlled independently of the underlying rhythm? Answers to this and other questions require a dissection of mechanisms that is only possible through a complementary combination of experimental approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-56
Number of pages14
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Control of breathing, rhythm generation
  • Pattern of breathing, central networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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