Definition of neuronal circuitry controlling the activity of phrenic and abdominal motoneurons in the ferret using recombinant strains of pseudorabies virus

I. Billig, J. M. Foris, L. W. Enquist, J. P. Card, B. J. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

During a number of behaviors, including vomiting and some postural adjustments, activity of both the diaphragm and abdominal muscles increases. Previous transneuronal tracing studies using injection of pseudorabies virus (PRV) into either the diaphragm or rectus abdominis (RA) of the ferret demonstrated that motoneurons innervating these muscles receive inputs from neurons in circumscribed regions of the spinal cord and brainstem, some of which have an overlapping distribution in the magnocellular part of the medullary reticular formation (MRF). This observation raises two possibilities: that two populations of MRF neurons provide independent inputs to inspiratory and expiratory motoneurons or that single MRF neurons have collateralized projections to both groups of motoneurons. The present study sought to distinguish between these prospects. For this purpose, recombinant isogenic strains of PRV were injected into these respiratory muscles in nine ferrets; the strain injected into the diaphragm expressed β-galactosidase, whereas that injected into RA expressed green fluorescent protein. Immunofluorescence localization of the unique reporters of each virus revealed three populations of infected premotor neurons, two of which expressed only one virus and a third group that contained both viruses. Dual-infected neurons were predominantly located in the magnocellular part of the MRF, but were absent from both the dorsal and ventral respiratory cell groups. These data suggest that coactivation of inspiratory and expiratory muscles during behaviors such as emesis and some postural adjustments can be elicited through collateralized projections from a single group of brainstem neurons located in the MRF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7446-7454
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Abdominal muscle
  • Diaphragm
  • Dorsal and ventral respiratory groups
  • Dual-labeling immunofluorescence
  • Emesis
  • Medullary reticular formation
  • Pseudorabies virus
  • Raphe nuclei

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