Reports

Activation of Ventrolateral Preoptic Neurons During Sleep

Science  12 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5246, pp. 216-219
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5246.216

Abstract

The rostral hypothalamus and adjacent basal forebrain participate in the generation of sleep, but the neuronal circuitry involved in this process remains poorly characterized. Immunocytochemistry was used to identify the FOS protein, an immediate-early gene product, in a group of ventrolateral preoptic neurons that is specifically activated during sleep. The retrograde tracer cholera toxin B, in combination with FOS immunocytochemistry, was used to show that sleep-activated ventrolateral preoptic neurons innervate the tuberomammillary nucleus, a posterior hypothalamic cell group thought to participate in the modulation of arousal. This monosynaptic pathway in the hypothalamus may play a key role in determining sleep-wake states.

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