Serotonin and the control of ventilation in awake rats

E. B. Olson, J. A. Dempsey, D. R. McCrimmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


In awake, unrestrained, intact rats, reserpine, para-chlorophenylalanine, 6-fluorotryptophan, and para-chloroamphetamine depleted whole brain serotonin and produced a substantial and sustained hyperventilation as evidenced by a 5-9 torr drop in Pa(CO2). Administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan to rats treated with para-chlorophenylalanine partially alleviated the hyperventilation. No change in ventilation was observed after alpha-methyltyrosine. 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine produced contradictory results. On the basis of these pharmacological studies, we propose that some serotonin-mediated nerve transmissions might function under physiological conditions to inhibit the central nervous system output which controls normal breathing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-693
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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