Dr. Matthew Gdovin
Current research is designed to examine the developmental aspects of the neural control of respiration, focusing on central pattern generation and central respiratory chemoreception. The evolution of terrestriality from aquatic gill breathing to terrestrial lung breathing required changes in the neural substrates controlling both respiratory rhythm and pattern generation, as well as central respiratory chemoreception. Amphibians, because of their unique transition from aquatic gill breathing in larval stages to terrestrial lung breathing as adults, offer remarkable opportunities to elucidate the neural changes necessary for the transition from aquatic to aerial respiration.
We have recently developed an in vitro brainstem preparation of the bullfrog tadpole Rana catesbeiana that is well oxygenated throughout and more importantly, retains robust, spontaneous respiratory rhythmicity and central chemoreception. Ongoing research is directed at describing the cellular and molecular changes which take place in both central respiratory pattern generating and chemoreceptor neurons during development. Using thin medullary slices and cultured medullary neurons, state of the art patch clamp techniques are being applied to investigate the ontogeny of the cellular and biophysical properties of central respiratory pattern generating neurons, as well as the network properties of these neurons. Both thin slices and in vitro brainstem preparations are being employed to characterize the ontogeny of the neurotransmitters involved in respiratory rhythmicity and chemoreception. In addition to describing the neurobiology of respiration in lower vertebrates, culmination of those studies will provide insight into the neural mechanisms necessary for the evolution of air breathing.
Ravindran, C.R.M., Bayne, J.N., Bravo, S.C., Busby, T., Escobedo, J.A., Gresham, S., Jordan, Z., Rios, L., Roy, S., and Gdovin, M.J. Intracellular acidosis and pH regulation in central respiratory chemoreceptors. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2011; 22(4):174-186.
Zamora, D.A., Ravindran, M.C.R., Leiter, J.C., and Gdovin, M.J., (2011). “pHi measurements in the in vitro tadpole brainstem: direct correlations between changes in pHi and ventilation”, American Journal of Physiology.
Ravindran, C.M., Zamora, D.A., Persyn, J., Bayne, J., Escobedo, J., Rios, L., Leiter, J.C., and Gdovin, M.J (2011). “The role of 5HT 1A receptor activation on respiratory rhythmogenesis and central respiratory chemoreception in the tadpole brainstem preparation”. Respiration Physiology and Neurobiology.
Gdovin MJ, Zamora DA, Marutha Ravindran CR and Leiter JC (2010a). Serotonergic modulation of respiratory rhythmogenesis and central chemoreception. Ethnicity and Disease, 20: [S1]39–44.
Gdovin MJ, Zamora DA, Marutha Ravindran CR and Leiter JC (2010b). Optical recording of intracellular pH in respiratory chemoreceptors. Ethnicity and Disease, 20: [S1]33-38.