The Role of Glia in Sleep Regulation and Function
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The cellular mechanisms governing the expression, regulation, and function of sleep are not entirely understood. The traditional view is that these mechanisms are neuronal. An alternative view is that glial brain cells may play important roles in these processes. Their ubiquity in the central nervous system makes them well positioned to modulate neuronal circuits that gate sleep and wake. Their ability to respond to chemical neuronal signals suggests that they form feedback loops with neurons that may globally regulate neuronal activity. Their potential role in detoxifying the brain, regulating neuronal metabolism, and promoting synaptic plasticity raises the intriguing possibility that glia mediate important functions ascribed to sleep.
KeywordsAstrocyte Glia Homeostasis Neural Sleep
This research was supported by a Sleep Research Society Elliot Weitzman Award and NIH MH099544.
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