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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of rapid eye movement sleep by neurotrophin-3 and its co-localization with choline acetyltransferase in mesopontine neurons.

Because neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), a neurotrophic factor closely related to nerve growth factor, is capable of modulating neuronal activity [Yamuy et al., Neuroscience 95 (2000a) 1089-1100], we sought to examine if the microinjection of NT-3 into the nucleus reticularis pontis oralis (NPO) of chronically prepared cats also induced changes in behavior. In contrast to vehicle administration, NT-3 injection induced, with a mean latency of 4.7 min, long-duration episodes (mean, 21.6 min) of a state that was polygraphically indistinguishable from naturally occurring REM sleep. If NT-3 plays a physiologic role in the generation of REM sleep, then an endogenous source for this neurotrophin that is capable of controlling the activity of NPO neurons should exist. We therefore determined whether cholinergic neurons in the latero-dorsal and pedunculo-pontine tegmental (LDT and PPT) nuclei, which are involved in the initiation of REM sleep and project to the NPO, contained NT-3. Most, if not all, of the LDT-PPT cholinergic neurons exhibited NT-3 immunoreactivity. A portion (10%) of the NT-3+ neurons in the LDT-PPT were not cholinergic. The present data indicate that NT-3 rapidly modulates the activity of NPO neurons involved in REM sleep and that cholinergic neurons in the LDT and PPT contain NT-3. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that NT-3 may be involved in the control of naturally occurring REM sleep.[1]


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