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CSB Seminar Series – Shinjae Chung, PhD – University of Pennsylvania, Neuroscience

November 17, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

CSB Departmental Seminar

Shinjae Chung, PhD

University of Pennsylvania, Neuroscience

TITLE: Neural circuits underlying the impact of stress on sleep

ABSTRACT: Good quality sleep is essential for our well-being. Sleep disturbances are detrimental to our behavioral and emotional well-being. Stressful events disrupt sleep, in particular by inducing brief awakenings (microarousals, MAs), resulting in sleep fragmentation. The preoptic area of the hypothalamus (POA) is crucial for sleep control. However, how POA neurons contribute to the regulation of MAs and thereby impact sleep quality is unknown. Using fiber photometry in mice, we examine the activity of genetically defined POA subpopulations during sleep. We find that POA glutamatergic neurons are rhythmically activated in synchrony with an infraslow rhythm in the spindle band of the electroencephalogram during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMs) and are transiently activated during MAs. Optogenetic stimulation of these neurons promotes MAs and wakefulness. Exposure to acute social defeat stress fragments NREMs and significantly increases the number of transients in the calcium activity of POA glutamatergic neurons during NREMs. By reducing MAs, optogenetic inhibition during spontaneous sleep and after stress consolidates NREMs. Monosynaptically-restricted rabies tracing reveals that POA glutamatergic neurons are innervated by brain regions regulating stress and sleep. In particular, presynaptic glutamatergic neurons in the lateral hypothalamus become activated after stress, and stimulating their projections to the POA promotes MAs and wakefulness. Our findings uncover a novel circuit mechanism by which POA excitatory neurons regulate sleep quality after stress.

HOST: John Peever

LOCATION: Cell and Systems Biology, 25 Harbord Street, Suite 432

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November 17, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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