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State-dependent brainstem ensemble dynamics and their interactions with hippocampus across sleep states

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  • Tomomi Tsunematsu
  • Amisha Patel
  • Arno Onken
  • Shuzo Sakata

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52244
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


The brainstem plays a crucial role in sleep-wake regulation. However, their ensemble dynamics underlying sleep regulation remain poorly understood. Here we show slow, state-predictive brainstem ensemble dynamics and state-dependent interactions between the brainstem and the hippocampus in mice. On a timescale of seconds to minutes, brainstem populations can predict pupil dilation and vigilance states where they exhibit longer predictable power compared with hippocampal CA1 neurons. On a timescale of sub-seconds, pontine waves (P-waves) are accompanied by synchronous firing of brainstem neurons during both rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep. Crucially, P-waves functionally interact with CA1 activity in a state-dependent manner: during NREM sleep, hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SWRs) precede P-waves. On the other hand, P-waves during REM sleep are phase-locked with ongoing theta oscillations and are followed by burst firing of CA1 neurons. This state-dependent global coordination between the brainstem and hippocampus implicates distinct functional roles of sleep.

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