“Cortical and subcortical circuitry are thought to play distinct roles in the generation of sleep oscillations and global state control, respectively,” the study states.
“Here we silenced a subset of neocortical layer 5 pyramidal and archicortical dentate gyrus granule cells in male mice by ablating SNAP25.”
“This markedly increased wakefulness and reduced rebound of electroencephalographic slow-wave activity after sleep deprivation, suggesting a role for the cortex in both vigilance state control and sleep homeostasis,” the findings also state.
The study’s uncovering of the cortex as part of the sleep-regulating system provides a new approach for future research in sleep medicine.
“The cortex is a highly complex structure, both anatomically and functionally, and is therefore difficult to study; and this is why we think its role in sleep control was previously overlooked. The effects on sleep of cortical silencing offers a novel and fresh perspective on the mechanisms of sleep control, and has the strong potential to transform the field of sleep neurobiology,” one author of the study mentioned in a news release.