Riluzole disrupts autoresuscitation from hypothermic respiratory arrest in neonatal hamsters but not rats

Angelina Y. Fong*, Lieneke H. Marshall, William K. Milsom

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    We examined the effect of riluzole on expression of the central respiratory rhythm and the ability of neonates to autoresuscitate from hypothermic respiratory arrest using in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparations of rats and hamsters. At a constant temperature of 27 °C, riluzole (5-200 μM) decreased the burst amplitude of respiratory-related motor discharge, but had little effect on the fictive respiratory frequency in rat preparations. In contrast, in hamster preparations, riluzole reduced fictive respiratory frequency, but had little effect on burst amplitude. Hamster preparations were more cold-tolerant than rat preparations, with respiratory arrest and autoresuscitation occurring at lower temperatures during cooling of the preparation. This difference was removed by incubation with riluzole (5 μM); riluzole significantly increased the temperature at which fictive respiration arrested and restarted in hamster preparations, but had no effect in rat preparations. The species differences observed in this study may reflect fundamental differences in the relative role of riluzole-sensitive mechanisms in the expression of the respiratory rhythm in early development of an altricial vs. a more precocial species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-183
    Number of pages9
    JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009


    • Autoresuscitation
    • Central respiratory rhythm
    • Control of breathing
    • Hamster
    • Neonate
    • Rat
    • Respiratory arrest
    • Riluzole


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