TCCI Investigator Identifies Important Switch for REM Sleep

Recently, Professor Huang Zhili, Director of the Department of Pharmacology at Fudan University and investigator at the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI) and his team, published a new study in the journal Cell Discovery, reporting a new nucleus that can terminate REM sleep and its neural circuit mechanism.


Sleep accounts for one third of the human life. Sound sleep is fundamental for sleep physiology and the periodic rhythm and continuity are essential for measuring healthy sleep. For continuous sleep in healthy humans, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep follows non-REM (NREM) sleep several times during a typical night of sleep. REM sleep is associated with memory consolidation, mood disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and stress response. However, the neuronal mechanisms controlling REM sleep termination and sleep continuation remain largely unknown.


This study not only identified a new nucleus that can terminate REM sleep, but also revealed new mechanisms of neural circuits in the regulation of REM sleep. The study further suggests that selective modulation of dDpMe GABAergic neuronal activity is potentially valuable for clinical intervention in cataplexy.


Click to read paper on Cell Discovery