Acetylcholine and glutamate release during sleep-wakefulness in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and norepinephrine changes regulated by nitric oxide

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999 Apr;53(2):109-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1819.1999.00543.x.


Cholinergic neurons in the pons appear to play a major role in generating rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In the present study, acetylcholine and glutamate release in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPT) during the sleep-waking cycle were investigated by in vivo microdialysis. Acetylcholine release during slow wave sleep (SWS) was significantly lower (P<0.05) than during REM sleep and wakefulness. On the other hand, glutamate release during wakefulness was higher (P<0.05) than during REM sleep and SWS. Furthermore, the application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (1 mM) induced a significant increase of nitric oxides (NOx) for 20 min (P<0.05) and a decrease of norepinephrine for the first 15 min (P=0.01), indicating NOx regulation on norepinephrine release in PPT.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Cholinergic Fibers / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism*
  • Pons / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Acetylcholine
  • Norepinephrine