The Role of Glia in Sleep Regulation and Function

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 253)


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.


Astrocyte Glia Homeostasis Neural Sleep 



This research was supported by a Sleep Research Society Elliot Weitzman Award and NIH MH099544.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesElson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University SpokaneSpokaneUSA

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