Role of Serotonin in Airway Patency: Physiological and Morphological Evidence for Serotoninergic Inputs to Laryngeal Inspiratory Motoneurons

  • Hideho Arita
  • Masahiro Sakamoto


Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is known to be widely distributed in the brain (Dahlström and Fuxe, 1964) and has been implicated in various physiological and behavioral functions, such as REM sleep (Jouvet, 1969), neuropsychiatric disorder (Peroutka and Snyder, 1980), thermoregulation (Gudelsky et al., 1986), cardiovascular control (Lovick, 1989), and so on. The present study is conducted to evaluate a role of serotonin in the control of upper airway. Using a micropressure ejection method (Kogo and Arita, 1990), we have tested responsiveness of the medullary inspiratory neurons to direct applications of serotonin, in comparison with applications of glutamate and noradrenaline. Furthermore, we have examined modes of 5-HT terminals on the medullary motoneurons projecting to the dilator muscles of the larynx, by means of combined techniques of retrograde labelling with unconjugated choleratoxin subunh-B and immunohistochemistry with an antiserum against serotonin. The present physiological and morphological results are discussed in relation to a possible role of the serotoninergic system in airway obstruction during sleep.


Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Superior Laryngeal Nerve Retrograde Labelling Nucleus Ambiguus Inspiratory Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideho Arita
    • 1
  • Masahiro Sakamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyToho University School of MedicineOta-ku, TokyoJapan

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