Evidence suggests that astrocytes are involved in the control of the central chemoreflex, however in the lateral hypothalamus /perifornical area (LH/PFA), this possible role of astrocytes still remains unexplored. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible excitatory function of astrocytes in LH/PFA in the control of the hypercapnic ventilatory response, in rats during wakefulness and sleep, in the light and dark phases of the diurnal cycle. To this end, freely-moving male Wistar rats, in a plethismograph system, will be exposed to room air followed by hypercapnia (7% CO2 ) with EEG, EMG, pulmonary ventilation and body temperature recorded throughout the experimental protocol. We will study the effects of fluorocitrate (membrane depolarization inducer and inhibitor of the citric acid cycle), microinjected into the LH/PFA, on ventilation in room air and in 7% CO2, during sleep and wakefulness, in the light and dark phases of the diurnal cycle.
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