Circadian VIPergic Neurons of the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei Sculpt the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

Collins, Ben; Pierre-Ferrer, Sara; Muheim, Christine; Lukacsovich, David; Cai, Yuchen; Spinnler, Andrea; Gutierrez Herrera, Carolina; Wen, Shao'Ang; Winterer, Jochen; Belle, Mino D C; Piggins, Hugh D; Hastings, Michael; Loudon, Andrew; Yan, Jun; Földy, Csaba; Adamantidis, Antoine; Brown, Steven A (2020). Circadian VIPergic Neurons of the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei Sculpt the Sleep-Wake Cycle. Neuron, 108(3), 486-499.e5. Cell Press 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.08.001

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Although the mammalian rest-activity cycle is controlled by a "master clock" in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, it is unclear how firing of individual SCN neurons gates individual features of daily activity. Here, we demonstrate that a specific transcriptomically identified population of mouse VIP+ SCN neurons is active at the "wrong" time of day-nighttime-when most SCN neurons are silent. Using chemogenetic and optogenetic strategies, we show that these neurons and their cellular clocks are necessary and sufficient to gate and time nighttime sleep but have no effect upon daytime sleep. We propose that mouse nighttime sleep, analogous to the human siesta, is a "hard-wired" property gated by specific neurons of the master clock to favor subsequent alertness prior to dawn (a circadian "wake maintenance zone"). Thus, the SCN is not simply a 24-h metronome: specific populations sculpt critical features of the sleep-wake cycle.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Gutierrez Herrera, Carolina and Adamantidis, Antoine Roger


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Cell Press




Chantal Kottler

Date Deposited:

12 Nov 2020 15:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:41

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PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

alertness circadian napping optogenetics siesta sleep vasoactive intestinal polypeptide wake maintenance




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