The researchers examined neural stem cell behavior in the brainstem
of mice lacking the blood vessel protein NRP1, because this part of the brain is particularly important to control fundamental processes such as breathing and heart rate.
Olszewski and Baxter's Cytoarchitecture of the Human Brainstem
, 3rd Revised Edition
By inserting ChR2 into nerve cells expressing Vglut2 - a transporter found in most excitatory neurons in the brainstem
and spinal cord as well as many excitatory neurons in other regions of the brain - they created a Vglut2-ChR2 mouse .
As each pup was born, the researchers removed the animal's brainstem
and spinal cord and kept that tissue alive for 3 days.
The researchers studied binding patterns for six neurotransmitter systems in 19 brainstem
locations, comparing SIDS cases with the non-SIDS controls.
The investigators studied the brainstems
of five infants who had died of natural causes other than SIDS.
A developmental anomaly in an area of the brainstem
that may sense carbon dioxide in the blood and that may help regulate respiration appears to be the physiologic root of at least some cases of sudden infant death syndrome, Dr.