Activation of Astrocytes in the Persistence of Post-hypoxic Respiratory Augmentation

Isato Fukushi, Kotaro Takeda, Mieczyslaw Pokorski, Yosuke Kono, Masashi Yoshizawa, Yohei Hasebe, Akito Nakao, Yasuo Mori, Hiroshi Onimaru, Yasumasa Okada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute hypoxia increases ventilation. After cessation of hypoxia loading, ventilation decreases but remains above the pre-exposure baseline level for a time. However, the mechanism of this post-hypoxic persistent respiratory augmentation (PHRA), which is a short-term potentiation of breathing, has not been elucidated. We aimed to test the hypothesis that astrocytes are involved in PHRA. To this end, we investigated hypoxic ventilatory responses by whole-body plethysmography in unanesthetized adult mice. The animals breathed room air, hypoxic gas mixture (7% O2, 93% N2) for 2min, and again room air for 10min before and after i.p. administration of low (100mg/kg) and high (300mg/kg) doses of arundic acid (AA), an astrocyte inhibitor. AA suppressed PHRA, with the high dose decreasing ventilation below the pre-hypoxic level. Further, we investigated the role of the astrocytic TRPA1 channel, a putative ventilatory hypoxia sensor, in PHRA using astrocyte-specific Trpa1 knockout (asTrpa1−/−) and floxed Trpa1 (Trpa1f/f) mice. In both Trpa1f/f and asTrpa1−/− mice, PHRA was noticeable, indicating that the astrocyte TRPA1 channel was not directly involved in PHRA. Taken together, these results indicate that astrocytes mediate the PHRA by mechanisms other than TRPA1 channels that are engaged in hypoxia sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number757731
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 08-10-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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