Key Roles for AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in the Function of the Carotid Body?

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The carotid bodies play a critical role in initiating compensatory ventilatory responses to hypoxia. However, the complete mechanism by which hypoxia excites the oxygen-sensing carotid body type 1 cells has not been fully defined. We have previously proposed that the enzyme adenosine monophosphateactivated protein kinase (AMPK) may couple hypoxic inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to carotid body type I cell excitation (Evans, Mustard, Wyatt, Peers, Dipp, Kumar, Kinnear and Hardie 2005). Here we discuss evidence that AMPK is a key requirement for hypoxic chemotransduction by the carotid body. In addition, we postulate upon a role for AMPK in the plasticity observed in the carotid body during both chronic and chronic intermittent hypoxia.


Presented at the 10th Oxford Conference on Modeling and Control of Breathing, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.



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