The brainstem respiratory network

Tara G. Bautista*, Teresa E. Pitts, Paul M. Pilowsky, Kendall F. Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The respiratory system works with the cardiovascular system to supply tissues with oxygen, to remove carbon dioxide, and to maintain a normal acid-base balance (i.e. blood gas homeostasis). The basic breathing rhythm is generated in the ventrolateral medulla in a column of cells that extends in the caudal direction from the caudal pole of the facial motor nucleus (VIIn) to the spino-medullary junction. The breathing networks are also vitally important in a host of other behaviors, such as swallow, cough, emesis, expiration reflex, micturition, defecation, parturition, suckling, locomotion, and vocalization. These networks control the primary muscle of inspiration, the diaphragm, as well as a host of upper airway and abdominal muscles, to accomplish these tasks without compromising blood gas homeostasis. The core respiratory networks are also modulated by many sensory inputs from the periphery as well as modulatory inputs from other brain regions, notably the dorsolateral-pontine and midline-raphé nuclei.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNeuronal networks in brain function, CNS disorders, and therapeutics
    EditorsCarl L. Faingold, Hal Blumenfeld
    Place of PublicationLondon, UK
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9780124158641
    ISBN (Print)9780124158047
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Airway defensive reflexes
    • Breathing
    • Dorsal respiratory column
    • Expiration
    • Inspiration
    • Medulla
    • Phrenic
    • Postinspiration
    • Ventral respiratory column


    Dive into the research topics of 'The brainstem respiratory network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this