REM sleep modulation by perifornical orexinergic inputs to the pedunculo-pontine tegmental neurons in rats

Neuroscience. 2015 Nov 12:308:125-33. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.09.015. Epub 2015 Sep 8.


Rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is regulated by the interaction of the REM-ON and REM-OFF neurons located in the pedunculo-pontine-tegmentum (PPT) and the locus coeruleus (LC), respectively. Many other brain areas, particularly those controlling non-REMS (NREMS) and waking, modulate REMS by modulating these REMS-related neurons. Perifornical (PeF) orexin (Ox)-ergic neurons are reported to increase waking and reduce NREMS as well as REMS; dysfunction of the PeF neurons are related to REMS loss-associated disorders. Hence, we were interested in understanding the neural mechanism of PeF-induced REMS modulation. As a first step we have recently reported that PeF Ox-ergic neurons modulate REMS by influencing the LC neurons (site for REM-OFF neurons). Thereafter, in this in vivo study we have explored the role of PeF inputs on the PPT neurons (site for REM-ON neurons) for the regulation of REMS. Chronic male rats were surgically prepared with implanted bilateral cannulae in PeF and PPT and electrodes for recording sleep-waking patterns. After post-surgical recovery sleep-waking-REMS were recorded when bilateral PeF neurons were stimulated by glutamate and simultaneously bilateral PPT neurons were infused with either saline or orexin receptor1 (OX1R) antagonist. It was observed that PeF stimulation increased waking and decreased NREMS as well as REMS, which were prevented by OX1R antagonist into the PPT. We conclude that the PeF stimulation-induced reduction in REMS was likely to be due to inhibition of REM-ON neurons in the PPT. As waking and NREMS are inversely related, subject to confirmation, the reduction in NREMS could be due to increased waking or vice versa. Based on our findings from this and earlier studies we have proposed a model showing connections between PeF- and PPT-neurons for REMS regulation.

Keywords: GABA; REM-ON and REM-OFF neurons; antagonist; chemical stimulation; glutamate; orexin receptor1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Electrocorticography
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electromyography
  • Electrooculography
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agents / pharmacology
  • Glutamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Neural Pathways / drug effects
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Orexin Receptors / metabolism*
  • Phenylurea Compounds / pharmacology
  • Pontine Tegmentum / drug effects
  • Pontine Tegmentum / physiology*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
  • Hcrtr1 protein, rat
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists
  • Orexin Receptors
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • SB 408124
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid