Serotonergic neurons in the medulla are central respiratory chemoreceptors. Here we show that serotonergic neurons in the midbrain of rats are also highly chemosensitive to small changes in CO2/pH and are closely associated with large penetrating arteries. We propose that midbrain raphé neurons are sensors of blood CO2 that maintain pH homeostasis by inducing arousal, anxiety and changes in cerebrovascular tone in response to respiratory acidosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience