In the present study, electrical stimulation to the rat insular cortex induced apnea or respiratory disturbance, reduced amplitude of genioglossal electromyogram, and decreased electromyogram integrals. In addition, arterial blood gas analysis showed arterial blood acidosis, reduced pH values, increased alkali reserve negative values, decreased peripheral blood 5-hydroxytryptamine content, and increased 5-hydroxytryptamine expression in cerebellar Purkinje cells. Following lidocaine injection to block the habenular nucleus, abnormalities in breath, genioglossal electromyogram, and blood gas values disappeared, and peripheral blood 5-hydroxytryptamine content returned to levels prior to electric stimulation. However, 5-hydroxytryptamine expression in cerebellar Purkinje cells remained high. The results suggested that 5-hydroxytryptamine expression in Purkinje cells did not correlate with ventilation function involving insular cortex and habenular nucleus.