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Ventrolateral Preoptic Nucleus

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Encyclopedia of Neuroscience
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A region of the mammalian brain thought to play a major role in the promotion of sleep.

The ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) is a region of the mammalian hypothalamus thought to play a major role in the promotion of sleep [13]. Many studies have used a variety of anatomical, pharmacological, and electrophysiological techniques to demonstrate that the VLPO is mostly active during sleep, is necessary for normal sleep, and works primarily by inhibiting other subcortical areas of the brain that promote arousal. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge about the VLPO and its role in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle.



The VLPO is a subdivision of the lateral preoptic area (LPOA) located in the anterior hypothalamus. To date, the VLPO has been studied almost exclusively in rats, where the volume of cells is roughly 600 μm in diameter [2]. The VLPO can be further anatomically and functionally subdivided into a dense cluster...

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Carter, M., de Lecea, L. (2009). Ventrolateral Preoptic Nucleus. In: Binder, M.D., Hirokawa, N., Windhorst, U. (eds) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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