Andrew Hill, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
The effect prenatal and postnatal nicotine exposure on the postnatal development of an in vitro respiratory rhythm
Prenatal nicotine exposure is associated with deficiencies in two reflexes, arousal and autoresuscitation, which normally serve to protect against life-threatening stressors. To better understand how specific brainstem defects caused by prenatal nicotine exposure can lead to abnormalities in these reflexes, animal studies have tested the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on the motor output of the brainstem respiratory network. These studies have shown that these abnormalities originate from defects in the brainstem. However, the effect of prenatal nicotine exposure on the cellular and network level mechanisms are only beginning to be elucidated. We propose to use a transverse slice preparation to study the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on the rhythmic respiratory output of the preBötzinger Complex.