Acid-sensing ion channels are expressed in the ventrolateral medulla and contribute to central chemoreception

Nana Song, Ruijuan Guan, Qian Jiang, Comron J. Hassanzadeh, Yuyang Chu, Xiaomei Zhao, Xia Wang, Dawei Yang, Qijun Du, Xiang Ping Chu, Linlin Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The role of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) remains uncertain. Here, we found that ASIC1a and ASIC2 are widely expressed in rat medulla, and the expression level is higher at neonatal stage as compared to adult stage. The two ASIC subunits co-localized in medualla neurons. Furthermore, pH reduction triggered typical ASIC-type currents in the medulla, including the VLM. These currents showed a pH 50 value of 6.6 and were blocked by amiloride. Based on their sensitivity to psalmotoxin 1 (PcTx1) and zinc, homomeric ASIC1a and heteromeric ASIC1a/2 channels were likely responsible for acid-mediated currents in the mouse medulla. ASIC currents triggered by pH 5 disappeared in the VLM neurons from ASIC1-/-, but not ASIC2-/-mice. Activation of ASICs in the medulla also triggered neuronal excitation. Moreover, microinjection of artificial cerebrospinal fluid at a pH of 6.5 into the VLM increased integrated phrenic nerve discharge, inspiratory time and respiratory drive in rats. Both amiloride and PcTx1 inhibited the acid-induced stimulating effect on respiration. Collectively, our data suggest that ASICs are highly expressed in the medulla including the VLM, and activation of ASICs in the VLM contributes to central chemoreception.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38777
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Acid-sensing ion channels are expressed in the ventrolateral medulla and contribute to central chemoreception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this