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Anales de la Facultad de Medicina

versão On-line ISSN 2301-1254


PINO, Esteban; KUNIZAWA, Héctor; YAMUY, Jack  e  BORDE, Michel. In vitro model for the study of the role of the mesopontine region in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and wakefulness. Anfamed [online]. 2017, vol.4, n.1, pp.82-136. ISSN 2301-1254.

The study of the neural basis of behavior is a major challenge in Neuroscience. Advancing our knowledge in this field depends, critically, on the use of experimental paradigms that provide multiple levels of analysis, as well as powerful techniques. We have selected, as a model of a neural plan that organizes a complex behavior, a neural network located in the mesopontine junction. This region is thought to be both necessary and sufficient for the generation of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, although the cellular and synaptic mechanisms involved in the control of this behavioral state at the mesopontine level are still under debate and remain poorly understood. As part of a long term effort to gain insight into these mechanisms, we carried out the morphological and functional characterization of a slice preparation of rat brainstem and we demonstrate that critical structures for the control of REM sleep - the laterodorsal and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei and their projection to the oral part of the pontine reticular nucleus (PnO) - are present and are operational. The presence of the trigeminal motor nucleus in the slice sought to include in the experimental model a structure capable of expressing changes of the excitability of the motorneurons caused by pharmacological manipulations of the PnO, representative of changes of muscle tone associated with similar maneuvers performed in vivo. The use of this in vitro model of REM sleep will provide critical information to elucidate neural strategies that operate at intermediate levels of central nervous system organization in mammals to control behavioral states.

Palavras-chave : REM sleep; wakefulness; pontine reticular formation; PnO; Laterodorsal Tegmental Nucleus; Pedunculo-pontine Tegmental Nucleus; Acetylcholine; Glutamate; GABA; Atonia; Motoneuron.

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