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Activity dynamics of amygdala GABAergic neurons during cataplexy of narcolepsy


Authors: Ying Sun, Carlos Blanco-Centurion, Emmaline Bendell, Aurelio Vidal-Ortiz, Siwei Luo, Meng Liu
Publication: eLife
Date: August 14, 2019
Link to article: https://elifesciences.org/articles/48311?__hssc=91116613.11.1608888085015&__hst…


Recent studies showed activation of the GABAergic neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) triggered cataplexy of sleep disorder narcolepsy. However, there is still no direct evidence on CeA GABAergic neurons’ real-time dynamic during cataplexy. We used a deep brain calcium imaging tool to image the intrinsic calcium transient as a marker of neuronal activity changes in the narcoleptic VGAT-Cre mice by expressing the calcium sensor GCaMP6 into genetically defined CeA GABAergic neurons. Two distinct GABAergic neuronal groups involved in cataplexy were identified: spontaneous cataplexy-ON and predator odor-induced cataplexy-ON neurons. Majority in the latter group were inactive during regular sleep/wake cycles but were specifically activated by predator odor and continued their intense activities into succeeding cataplexy bouts. Furthermore, we found that CeA GABAergic neurons became highly synchronized during predator odor-induced cataplexy. We suggest that the abnormal activation and synchronization of CeA GABAergic neurons may trigger emotion-induced cataplexy.

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