Activation of ventrolateral preoptic neurons during sleep

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 02/1996; 271(5246):216-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5246.216
Source: PubMed

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.