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The carotid body is the main peripheral oxygen sensor involved in cardio-respiratory control under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. This review focuses on data from newborn animals related to the involvement of the purinergic system in carotid body function during development. We describe the potential effects mediated by ATP and adenosine receptors on ventilation, chemoreceptor activity and their influence on respiratory instability, such as apnea. The conclusions that appear from this review is that in newborn rats, activation of ATP receptors increases the carotid body function although with no age dependent manner, regulates breathing under normoxia, and enhances the initial increase in ventilation in response to hypoxia (likely reflecting carotid body responses). However, activation of adenosine receptors may play a role on carotid body function under chronic conditions, such as intermittent hypoxia or exposure to the adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine. Under the later conditions, an indirect effects involving the carotid body dopaminergic system are observed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Aida Bairam, Lalah M Niane, Vincent Joseph. Role of ATP and adenosine on carotid body function during development. Respiratory physiology & neurobiology. 2013 Jan 1;185(1):57-66

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PMID: 22721945

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