Myo-inositol Effects on the Developing Respiratory Neural Control System

  • Peter M. MacFarlaneEmail author
  • Juliann M. Di Fiore
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1071)


Myo-inositol is a highly abundant stereoisomer of the inositol family of sugar alcohols and forms the structural basis for a variety of polyphosphate derivatives including second messengers and membrane phospholipids. These derivatives regulate numerous cell processes including gene transcription, membrane excitability, vesicular trafficking, intracellular calcium signaling, and neuronal growth and development. Myo-inositol can be formed endogenously from the breakdown of glucose, is found in a variety of foods including breastmilk and is commercially available as a nutritional supplement. Abnormal myo-inositol metabolism has been shown to underlie the pathophysiology of a variety of clinical conditions including Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injury, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Several animal studies have shown that myo-inositol may play a critical role in development of both the central and peripheral respiratory neural control system; a notable example is the neonatal apnea and respiratory insufficiency that manifests in a mouse model of myo-inositol depletion, an effect that is also postnatally lethal. This review focuses on myo-inositol (and some of its derivatives) and how it may play a role in respiratory neural control; we also discuss clinical evidence demonstrating a link between serum myo-inositol levels and the incidence of intermittent hypoxemia (IH) events (a surrogate measure of apnea of prematurity (AOP)) in preterm infants. Further, there are both animal and human infant studies that have demonstrated respiratory benefits following supplementation with myo-inositol, which highlights the prospects that nutritional requirements are important for appropriate development and maturation of the respiratory system.


Myo-inositol Respiratory neural development Control of breathing 



P.M.M. and J.M.D. are supported by the Gerber Foundation. Reference# 1082-4005.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies & Children’s HospitalClevelandUSA

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