Exploring the morphology and connectivity of Dbx1 positive neurons in the preBotzinger Complex

Hi y’all. I am a rising senior at William and Mary and I will be working in Dr. Del Negro’s Systems Neuroscience lab this summer. I will be doing electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry to determine the morphology and connectivity of Dbx1positive neurons in the preBötzinger Complex. The preBötzinger Complex is a collection of neurons in the ventrolateral medulla potentially responsible for the production of inspiratory rhythm. Some of these neurons are derived from the Dbx1 transcription factor. Dbx1 neurons are glutamatergic, which means they have glutamate receptors and are excitatory. In current-clamp, these neurons fire in synchrony with the hypoglossal nerve discharge. The hypoglossal nerve innervates the tongue and fires during inspiration. Because Dbx1 neurons are active during hypoglossal discharge, it is hypothesized that they are inspiratory. My goal is further understanding of the structure of these neurons and how they connect with one another.

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