Hilaire G - Voituron N - Menuet C - Ichiyama RM - Subramanian HH - Dutschmann M


Respiratory physiology & neurobiology


Serotonin (5-HT) is a neuromodulator-transmitter influencing global brain function. Past and present findings illustrate a prominent role for 5-HT in the modulation of ponto-medullary autonomic circuits. 5-HT is also involved in the control of neurotrophic processes during pre- and postnatal development of neural circuits. The functional implications of 5-HT are particularly illustrated in the alterations to the serotonergic system, as seen in a wide range of neurological disorders. This article reviews the role of 5-HT in the development and control of respiratory networks in the ponto-medullary brainstem. The review further examines the role of 5-HT in breathing disorders occurring at different stages of life, in particular, the neonatal neurodevelopmental diseases such as Rett, sudden infant death and Prader-Willi syndromes, adult diseases such as sleep apnoea and mental illness linked to neurodegeneration.

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