Report

The paraventricular thalamus is a critical thalamic area for wakefulness

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6413, pp. 429-434
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2512

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

A close view of the paraventricular thalamus

The paraventricular thalamus is a relay station connecting brainstem and hypothalamic signals that represent internal states with the limbic forebrain that performs associative functions in emotional contexts. Zhu et al. found that paraventricular thalamic neurons represent multiple salient features of sensory stimuli, including reward, aversiveness, novelty, and surprise. The nucleus thus provides context-dependent salience encoding. The thalamus gates sensory information and contributes to the sleep-wake cycle through its interactions with the cerebral cortex. Ren et al. recorded from neurons in the paraventricular thalamus and observed that both population and single-neuron activity were tightly coupled with wakefulness.

Science, this issue p. 423, p. 429

Abstract

Clinical observations indicate that the paramedian region of the thalamus is a critical node for controlling wakefulness. However, the specific nucleus and neural circuitry for this function remain unknown. Using in vivo fiber photometry or multichannel electrophysiological recordings in mice, we found that glutamatergic neurons of the paraventricular thalamus (PVT) exhibited high activities during wakefulness. Suppression of PVT neuronal activity caused a reduction in wakefulness, whereas activation of PVT neurons induced a transition from sleep to wakefulness and an acceleration of emergence from general anesthesia. Moreover, our findings indicate that the PVT–nucleus accumbens projections and hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus to PVT glutamatergic neurons’ projections are the effector pathways for wakefulness control. These results demonstrate that the PVT is a key wakefulness-controlling nucleus in the thalamus.

View Full Text