Breathing Without Acetylcholinesterase

  • Fabrice Chatonnet
  • Eliane Boudinot
  • Arnaud Chatonnet
  • Jean Champagnat
  • Arthur S. Foutz
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 551)


Acetylcholine (ACh) mediates neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction and is involved in respiratory control1, notably chemosensitivity2 of central and peripheral origin. The level of ACh at the synaptic cleft and neuromuscular junction is regulated by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Blockade of AChE by organophosphorus compounds produces death by respiratory failure3, but despite the absence of AChE activity in all tissues, AChE (-/-) mice knockout for the gene coding for AChE develop to term4 and survive to adulthood if provided special care5. However, they show many aspects of a cholinergic syndrome, such as pinpoint pupils and muscle tremors5.


Neuromuscular Junction Ventilatory Response Respiratory Frequency Tonic Activity Burst Duration 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice Chatonnet
    • 1
  • Eliane Boudinot
    • 1
  • Arnaud Chatonnet
    • 2
  • Jean Champagnat
    • 1
  • Arthur S. Foutz
    • 1
  1. 1.NGI—Institut de Neurobiologie A. FessardCNRSGif sur YvetteFrance
  2. 2.Dept of animal physiologyINRAMontpellierFrance

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