Pontine regulation of REM sleep components in cats: integrity of the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT) is important for phasic events but unnecessary for atonia during REM sleep.

TitlePontine regulation of REM sleep components in cats: integrity of the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT) is important for phasic events but unnecessary for atonia during REM sleep.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsShouse, MN, Siegel JM
JournalBrain research
Volume571
Issue1
Pagination50-63
Date Published1992 Jan 31
ISSN0006-8993
KeywordsAnimals, Brain Mapping, Cats, Choline O-Acetyltransferase, Eye Movements, Immunohistochemistry, Oculomotor Muscles, pons, Sleep, REM, Tegmentum Mesencephali, Time Factors
Abstract

Transection, lesion and unit recording studies have localized rapid eye movement (REM) sleep mechanisms to the pons. Recent work has emphasized the role of pontine cholinergic cells, especially those of the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT). The present study differentiated REM sleep deficits associated with lesions of the PPT from other pontine regions implicated in REM sleep generation, including those with predominantly cholinergic vs non-cholinergic cells. Twelve hour polygraphic recordings were obtained in 18 cats before and 1-2 weeks after bilateral electrolytic or radio frequency lesions of either: (1) PPT, which contains the dorsolateral pontine cholinergic cell column; (2) laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT), which contains the dorsomedial pontine cholinergic cell column; (3) locus ceruleus (LC), which contains mostly noradrenergic cells; or (4) subceruleus (LC alpha, peri-LC alpha and the lateral tegmental field), which also contains predominantly noncholinergic cells. There were three main findings: (i) Only lesions of PPT and subceruleus significantly affected REM sleep time. These lesions produced comparable reductions in REM sleep time but influenced REM sleep components quite differently: (ii) PPT lesions, estimated to damage 90 +/- 4% of cholinergic cells, reduced the number of REM sleep entrances and phasic events, including ponto-geniculooccipital (PGO) spikes and rapid eye movements (REMs), but did not prevent complete atonia during REM sleep: (iii) Subceruleus lesions eliminated atonia during REM sleep. Mobility appeared to arouse the cat prematurely from REM sleep and may explain the brief duration of REM sleep epochs seen exclusively in this group. Despite the reduced amount of REM sleep, the total number of PGO spikes and REM sleep entrances increased over baseline values. Collectively, the results distinguish pontine loci regulating phasic events vs atonia. PPT lesions reduced phasic events, whereas subceruleus lesions created REM sleep without atonia. Severe REM sleep deficits after large pontine lesions, including PPT and subceruleus, might be explained by simultaneous production of both REM sleep syndromes. However, extensive loss of ACh neurons in the PPT does not disrupt REM sleep atonia.

DOI10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.01023.x
Alternate JournalBrain Res.