Principal cell types of sleep-wake regulatory circuits

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2017 Jun;44:101-109. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.03.018. Epub 2017 Apr 19.


Electrophysiological recordings indicate that neurons which discharge maximally in association with distinct sleep-wake states are distributed through the brain, albeit in differing proportions. As studied using juxtacellular recording and labeling within the basal forebrain, four functional principal cell types are distinguished as: wake/paradoxical sleep (W/PS)-, slow wave sleep (SWS)-, W- and PS-max active. They are each comprised by both GABA and glutamate neurons, in addition to acetylcholine neurons belonging to the W/PS group. By their discharge profiles and interactions, the GABA and glutamate neurons of different groups are proposed to have the capacity to generate sleep-wake states with associated EEG and EMG activities, though to also be importantly regulated by neuromodulatory systems, each of which belong to one functional cell group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*