Neuronal mechanisms for sleep/wake regulation (collaboration with Tohoku University and Harvard Medical School)

Sleep and wakefulness are greatly influenced by various physiological and psychological factors. However, the neuronal elements responsible for organizing sleep-wake behavior in response to these factors are largely unknown. We have discovered that (1) neurotensin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus may play a crucial role in modulating sleep-wake states, and (2) neurons containing melanin-concentrating hormone in the posterior lateral hypothalamus play an integral role in rapid eye movement sleep regulation.

1, F Naganuma, Kroeger D, Bandaru SS, Absi G Madara JC and Vetrivelan R, ‘Lateral hypothalamic neurotensin neurons promote arousal and hyperthermia’, PLoS Biol. 20; 17(3):e3000172 (2019)

2, F Naganuma, Bandaru SS, Absi G Chee MJ and Vetrivelan R, ‘Melanin-concentrating hormone neurons promote rapid eye movement sleep independent of glutamate release.’, Brain struct Funct. 224(1):99-110 (2019)