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.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the United Kingdom Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986 Home Office regulations and approved by the Home Office (PPL 70/8883).
© 2020, Tsunematsu et al.
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