Control of genioglossus muscle by sleep state-dependent neuromodulators

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;605:262-7. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-73693-8_46.


Pharyngeal muscle tone decreases in sleep and this predisposes some individuals to obstructive sleep apnea. This review summarizes the control of the genioglossus muscle by sleep-state dependent neuromodulators at the hypoglossal motor nucleus, the source of motor output to the genioglossus muscle of the tongue. Knowledge of such mechanisms is relevant to identifying and developing new strategies to augment pharyngeal muscle activity in sleep, potentially as treatments for obstructive sleep apnea.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Pharyngeal Muscles / physiology
  • Pharyngeal Muscles / physiopathology
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Tongue / physiology
  • Wakefulness / physiology*