Activity of medial mesopontine units during cataplexy and sleep-waking states in the narcoleptic dog.

TitleActivity of medial mesopontine units during cataplexy and sleep-waking states in the narcoleptic dog.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsSiegel JM, Nienhuis R, Fahringer HM, Chiu C, Dement WC, Mignot E, Lufkin R
JournalJ Neurosci
Date Published1992 May
KeywordsAnimals, Arousal, Cataplexy, Dogs, Electrophysiology, Female, Male, Narcolepsy, Pons, Sleep Stages, Sleep, REM, Wakefulness

Narcolepsy has been hypothesized to be a disease of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to this hypothesis, cataplexy is a result of the triggering during waking of the mechanism that normally serves to suppress muscle tone in REM sleep. REM sleep control mechanisms have been localized to the pons. Narcoleptic dogs have increased numbers of cholinergic receptors in the medial pons. These findings suggest that neurons mediating the triggering of cataplexy might be located in medial pontine regions. In the present study, this hypothesis has been investigated by recording the discharge of units in the medial mesopontine region of the narcoleptic dog. Unit activity was examined in the nucleus reticularis pontis oralis, caudalis, and central gray, with each cell being recorded during both cataplexy and sleep states. Maximal discharge rates were observed, in all of these regions, during active waking states (mean rate, 45.3/sec) and REM sleep (16.0/sec), with minimal discharge rates in non-REM sleep (8.3/sec). Unit discharge was reduced in cataplexy relative to precataplexy periods. Cataplexy discharge rates were 8.3/sec, 52% of the mean REM sleep rate. Cataplexy discharge rates were also significantly lower than those at REM sleep onset. Cataplexy discharge rates were comparable to rates in quiet waking and non-REM sleep. While medial mesopontine neurons discharge at high rates in REM sleep, they have little or no activity in cataplexy. We interpret the lack of activation of medial mesopontine units in cataplexy as indicating that the characteristic phasic motor activation of REM sleep does not occur in this state.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Alternate JournalJ Neurosci
PubMed ID1578258
PubMed Central IDPMC6575889
Grant ListHL41370 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
NS14610 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
NS23724 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States