To sleep deeply: the brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba identify the key role of brainstem neurotensinergic neurons in non-REM sleep regulation. A normal sleep architecture is crucial for physical and cognitive health, and disruption of REM/NREM sleep can therefore have serious consequences. While several brain areas including the hypothalamus are known to be essential for NREM sleep, comparatively little is known about how the brainstem controls NREM sleep. Previous work has found that a subregion of the brainstem, the sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus (SubLDT), regulates both REM and NREM sleep. Researchers at the University of Tsukuba therefore targeted this area to identify NREM sleep-promoting neurons, and found that a wide network of neurotensin-producing neurons is involved in NREM sleep regulation. The article was published in Current Biology last month.