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Young Scientist Lecture on Life Sicences
Publisher:杨明欣  Time2017-09-12 View:265

Rui Chang, Assistant Professor ofYale School of Medicine, is invited by Professor Zhiwei Huang of School of Life Science and Technology (SLST).

TitleFrom lung to brain: airway mechnoreceptors that control breathing

Time:  13th Sept. 10:00am11:30am

Place:  Science Park, HIT, Room 411 2E Building

LecturerRui Chang

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale School of Medicine



Respiratory, cardiac, and other physiological functions are precisely controlled by the nervous system. The vagus nerve is a major conduit between lung and brain required for normal respiration, and some vagal sensory neurons detect airway expansion that occurs with every breath. Mechanical inflation of the lungs and airways triggers a protective respiratory reflex termed the Hering-Breuer inspiratory reflex, characterized by acute apnea. How vagal sensory neurons detect increases in airway volume was unknown at a molecular level. We initiated a molecular and genetic analysis of the sensory vagus nerve, identifying cell types that innervate the lung and powerfully control breathing. Moreover, we identified a critical role for the ion channel Piezo2 in airway mechanoreception. Optogenetic activation of vagal afferents containing Piezo2 causes apnea, trapping animals in a state of exhalation. Moreover, conditional deletion of Piezo2 from nodose ganglion-derived sensory neurons eliminates sensory neuron responses to airway stretch as well as the classical Hering-Breuer inspiratory reflex. These findings indicate a key role for Piezo2 as an airway stretch sensor critical for establishing efficient respiration at birth and maintaining respiratory homeostasis in adults. Understanding the sensory biology of respiratory control neurons in the vagus nerve may provide therapeutic targets for airway disease intervention.