Name of the research project (Highly specific and matching the aim of the project) Neuronal regulation of the cough reflex.
Slovakia (SloMSA) - Comenius University Martin, Bratislava
Biophysics and Medical Physics
Department of Medical and Clinical Biophysics
Prof. RNDr. Ivan Poliaček, PhD.
Prof. RNDr. Ivan Poliaček, PhD.
English, Czech
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Cough is main component of airway defense. Impaired cough, either reduced or excessive, results in reduced quality of life (when permanent, chronic) and can put the life in danger (when ineffective in respiratory system protection). Cough motor pattern is generated by complex coordinated neuronal network located in the brainstem with significant modulatory components from the periphery and higher brain structures. It is important to understand role of neuronal populations and their connections in production of cough motor output in order to be able to affect and manage centrally impaired cough under pathological conditions.
What is the aim of the project?
To improve our understanding of generation of cough motor pattern under regular and possible pathological conditions with focus on respiratory and non-respiratory neurons.
What techniques and methods are used?
Mapping of neuronal structures and neurons, affecting performance of neuronal assemblies by microinjections of neuroactive substances, various modes of primary and secondary stimuli, involved in reflex control and modulation of cough. Simulation techniques using PC (personal computer) might be involved as well. The model we used are anesthetized cat and rabbit. Searching for effects of GABA-ergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid) inhibition on cough reflex we are at the stage of testing GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors antagonists locally administered in the solitary tract nucleus. The mechanical (esophageal pressure possibly airflow) and electromyographic characteristics (inspiratory and expiratory muscles possibly upper airway muscles) of breathing and cough are recorded to evaluate differences in control and after affecting target structures. Recording and primary analysis is acomplished using spike software (CED-Cambridge Electronic Design Limited)). Defined intensity and timing parameters are compared.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Student will learn the monitoring and processes of animal preparation. Student will help with the monitoring and maintenance of animal condition as well as with recording the data. Active and significant contribution for spatial and temporal analysis of data is expected. It includes cardiorespiratory analysis of main parameters. Student will learn criteria and process of respiratory and cough analysis and understand the meanings of the characteristics for the pattern generating process. The aims of project “Neuronal regulation of the cough reflex” and “Mutual interations and coordination of respiratory reflexes” differs as the first one focuses on the central control of the cough reflex and the second one deals primarily with the modulation of reflexes. However, experimental approach, preparation, stimulations, recordings and basic analysis are for both projects the same.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Some theoretical preparation is expected – reading. Then particular parts will be explained by the supervisor during the preparation for experiments, during the experiments and for analysis conducted by the student.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
- The student will have the opportunity to present the results together with the supervisor at a conference
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Ability to work with experimental animal, ability to focus on tasks and analysis. Accuracy.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Students in biomedical fields
- Poliacek I; Pitts T; Rose MJ; Davenport PW; Simera M; Veternik M; Kotmanova Z; Bolser DC.
- Poliacek I; Pitts T; Rose MJ; Davenport PW; Simera M; Veternik M; Kotmanova Z; Bolser DC.
- Search for authors Poliacek and / or Bolser and keyword cough. Microinjection of kynurenic acid in the rostral nucleus of the tractus solitarius disrupts spatiotemporal aspects of mechanically induced tracheobronchial cough.