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Nat Neurosci. 2013 Nov;16(11):1637-43. doi: 10.1038/nn.3522. Epub 2013 Sep 22.

Optogenetic identification of a rapid eye movement sleep modulatory circuit in the hypothalamus.

Author information

1
Douglas Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

Rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep correlates with neuronal activity in the brainstem, basal forebrain and lateral hypothalamus. Lateral hypothalamus melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-expressing neurons are active during sleep, but their effects on REM sleep remain unclear. Using optogenetic tools in newly generated Tg(Pmch-cre) mice, we found that acute activation of MCH neurons (ChETA, SSFO) at the onset of REM sleep extended the duration of REM, but not non-REM, sleep episodes. In contrast, their acute silencing (eNpHR3.0, archaerhodopsin) reduced the frequency and amplitude of hippocampal theta rhythm without affecting REM sleep duration. In vitro activation of MCH neuron terminals induced GABAA-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in wake-promoting histaminergic neurons of the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN), and in vivo activation of MCH neuron terminals in TMN or medial septum also prolonged REM sleep episodes. Collectively, these results suggest that activation of MCH neurons maintains REM sleep, possibly through inhibition of arousal circuits in the mammalian brain.

PMID:
24056699
PMCID:
PMC4974078
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3522
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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