Midbrain serotonergic neurons are central pH chemoreceptors

Christopher A. Severson, Wengang Wang, Vincent A. Pieribone, Carolin I. Dohle, George B. Richerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Scopus citations


Serotonergic neurons in the medulla are central respiratory chemoreceptors. Here we show that serotonergic neurons in the midbrain of rats are also highly chemosensitive to small changes in CO2/pH and are closely associated with large penetrating arteries. We propose that midbrain raphé neurons are sensors of blood CO2 that maintain pH homeostasis by inducing arousal, anxiety and changes in cerebrovascular tone in response to respiratory acidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1140
Number of pages2
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Severson, C. A., Wang, W., Pieribone, V. A., Dohle, C. I., & Richerson, G. B. (2003). Midbrain serotonergic neurons are central pH chemoreceptors. Nature Neuroscience, 6(11), 1139-1140. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1130