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The neuropeptide Galanin is required for homeostatic rebound sleep following increased neuronal activity

By Sabine Reichert, Oriol Pavon Arocas, Jason Rihel

Posted 27 Nov 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/479634

Sleep pressure homeostatically increases during wake and dissipates during sleep, but the molecular signals and neuronal substrates that measure homeostatic sleep pressure remain poorly understood. We present a pharmacological assay in larval zebrafish that generates acute, short-term increases in wakefulness followed by sustained rebound sleep after washout. The intensity of global neuronal activity during drug-induced wakefulness predicted the amount of subsequent rebound sleep. Whole brain mapping with the neuronal activity marker phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (pERK) identified preoptic Galanin expressing neurons as selectively active during rebound sleep, and the relative induction of galanin transcripts was predictive of total rebound sleep time. Galanin is required for sleep homeostasis, as galanin mutants almost completely lacked rebound sleep following both pharmacologically induced neuronal activity and physical sleep deprivation. These results suggest that Galanin plays a key role in responding to sleep pressure signals derived from neuronal activity and functions as an output arm of the vertebrate sleep homeostat.

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