An endogenous glutamatergic drive onto somatic motoneurons contributes to the stereotypical pattern of muscle tone across the sleep-wake cycle

Department of Cell and Systems Biology, Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G5.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 05/2008; 28(18):4649-60. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0334-08.2008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Skeletal muscle tone is modulated in a stereotypical pattern across the sleep-wake cycle. Abnormalities in this modulation contribute to most of the major sleep disorders; therefore, characterizing the neurochemical substrate responsible for transmitting a sleep-wake drive to somatic motoneurons needs to be determined. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that modulates motoneuron excitability; however, its role in regulating motoneuron excitability and muscle tone during natural sleep-wake behaviors is unknown. Therefore, we used reverse-microdialysis, electrophysiology, pharmacological, and histological methods to determine how changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission within the trigeminal motor pool contribute to the sleep-wake pattern of masseter muscle tone in behaving rats. We found that blockade of non-NMDA and NMDA glutamate receptors (via CNQX and d-AP-5) on trigeminal motoneurons reduced waking masseter tone to sleeping levels, indicating that masseter tone is maximal during alert waking because motoneurons are activated by an endogenous glutamatergic drive. This wake-related drive is switched off in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and this contributes to the suppression of muscle tone during this state. We also show that a functional glutamatergic drive generates the muscle twitches that characterize phasic rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. However, loss of a waking glutamatergic drive is not sufficient for triggering the motor atonia that characterizes REM sleep because potent activation of either AMPA or NMDA receptors on trigeminal motoneurons was unable to reverse REM atonia. We conclude that an endogenous glutamatergic drive onto somatic motoneurons contributes to the stereotypical pattern of muscle tone during wakefulness, NREM sleep, and phasic REM sleep but not during tonic REM sleep.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experimental and non-experimental stress significantly increase masseter muscle tone, which has been linked to the symptoms and pathogenesis of several stomatognathic system diseases. Until now, the mechanism underlying this phenomenon has remained unclear. The current study was performed to determine the mechanism of the stress-induced increase in masseter muscle tone and to investigate the effect of lamotrigine on this change. Animals challenged by repeated restraint stress received either saline as a vehicle or lamotrigine in doses of 20, 30 or 40 mg/kg body weight, whereas control animals received saline without stress treatment. Masseter muscle tone was assessed using electromyography. The activity of glutamate-related metabolic enzymes (glutaminase and glutamine synthetase) in the trigeminal motor nucleus was also investigated. Our results showed an interesting phenomenon: masseter muscle activity increased concurrently with the upregulation of the glutamate concentration after stress treatment. The activities of glutaminase and glutamine synthetase in the trigeminal motor nucleus were also upregulated and downregulated, respectively, when the rats were challenged by prolonged stress. The animals treated with lamotrigine at moderate and high doses had significantly decreased masseter muscle tone compared with stressed animals treated with vehicle. These results suggested that increased glutaminase activity and decreased glutamine synthetase activity increased glutamate production and decreased glutamate decomposition, causing an increase in glutamate levels in the trigeminal motor nucleus and eventually increasing masseter muscle tone. The administration of lamotrigine at doses of 30 or 40 mg/kg body weight effectively mitigated the adverse effects of stress on masseter muscle tone via inhibition of glutamate release.
    Physiology & Behavior 06/2014; 137. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.06.017 · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia characterized by the loss of muscle atonia during paradoxical (REM) sleep (PS). The neuronal dysfunctions responsible for RBD are not known. In the present review, we propose an updated integrated model of the mechanisms responsible for PS and explore different hypotheses explaining RBD. We propose that RBD appears based on a specific degeneration of PS-on glutamatergic neurons localized in the caudal pontine sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus or the glycinergic/GABAergic premotoneurons localized in the medullary ventral gigantocellular reticular nucleus.
    Sleep and Biological Rhythms 06/2013; 11(S1). DOI:10.1111/j.1479-8425.2012.00544.x · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our understanding of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and how it is generated remains a topic of debate. Understanding REM sleep mechanisms is important because several sleep disorders result from disturbances in the neural circuits that control REM sleep and its characteristics. This review highlights recent work concerning how the central nervous system regulates REM sleep, and how the make up and breakdown of these REM sleep-generating circuits contribute to narcolepsy, REM sleep behaviour disorder and sleep apnea.
    Current opinion in pulmonary medicine 09/2014; 20(6). DOI:10.1097/MCP.0000000000000103 · 2.96 Impact Factor