Botzinger complex

In mammals, the Bötzinger complex (BötC) is a group of neurons located in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, and ventral respiratory column. In the medulla, this group is located caudally to the facial nucleus and ventral to nucleus ambiguus.[1][2]


The Bötzinger complex plays an important role in controlling breathing[3][4] and responding to hypoxia.[5][6] The BötC consists primarily of glycinergic neurons[7] which inhibit respiratory activity. Of the respiratory cycle phases BötC generates post-inspiratory (Post-I) activity and augmenting expiratory (aug-e) activity.[8][9][10]


The Bötzinger complex was named by UCLA Professor Jack Feldman in 1978, after a bottle of white wine named Botzinger present at his table during a scientific meeting in Hirschhorn, Germany, that year.[11]


The Bötzinger Complex has projections to

Only augmenting expiratory neurons of BötC, which are exclusively glycinergic, project to the phrenic nucleus.[21][14]

Projections to the Bötzinger complex include the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS)[22][23] the DRG and the VRG.[24]


These neurons are intrinsic pacemakers.[25] Post-I neurons display an initial burst of activity followed by decrease in activity at the end of inspiration. Aug-E neurons begin firing during the E2 phase and end before the phrenic nerve burst.[19][26]


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