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Paper in eNEURO: A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying emotional involvement in sleep deprivation

Affiliated Researcher in DANDRITE Marco Capogna just had a paper published in eNEURO, an open access journal of the American Society for Neuroscience. The research behind this paper gives valuable insights into how a specific neuron type in the amygdala contributes to the sleep-wake cycle.

Figure 5. pc-nNOS neurons are activated during sleep. See the figure and explanation through the link below this article.

The lack of sleep associated with emotional stress is a common experience in humans. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this association are not known. In this paper, we discovered that the functional activity of a previously unknown GABAergic neuron type of the rodent amygdala correlates with sleep. We observed that this novel GABAergic neuron type of the amygdala, that expresses high levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase,  is activated during sleep, but inhibited during wakefulness. Furthermore, our data suggest that reduced recruitment of these cells during sleep deprivation could originate, at least in part, from their inhibition by serotonin, which is preferentially released during wakefulness but not during sleep. This work provides an unprecedented link between a specific neuron type in the amygdala, a wake-promoting neuromodulator and the sleep-wake cycle.​

Find the whole article on eNEURO (open access)