Professor Team of School of Basic Medical Sciences Publishes Research Paper in International Authoritative Journal


Recently, the research team of neurological function at our university, led by ProfessorWang Liecheng of School of BasicMedical Sciences, published an academic paper, The NAergic locus coeruleus-ventrolateralpreoptic area neural circuit mediates rapid arousal from sleep,in the international authoritative journal Current Biology (IF:10.8). Professor Wang Liechengof our universityand Professor Zhang Ling of Tongji University are the co-corresponding authors.Liang Yue, doctoral student of Anhui Medical University, and Shi Wu,master’s graduate of Tongji University in 2019, are the co-first authors. Anhui MedicalUniversity is the first author affiliation.

Locus coeruleus (LC) is located in the brainstem and plays an important role in the regulation of arousal. However, the neural circuits behind it are not clear. By using cortical EEG combined with photoelectrode records, this research found that the LC-NA neurons in locus coeruleus showed high activity in the state of arousal, and that the arousal would be decreased by inhibiting the activity of these neurons. Activating the noradrenergic neuron (LC-VLPO) in the locus coeruleus to the ventrolateralpreoptic area (VLPO) of the hypothalamus by optogenetic technology specificity would promote arousal. The photoelectrode records in VLPO brain region showed that the optogenetics stimulation of LC-NA neurons activated two groups of neurons with different functions. According to the records of in vitro patch clamp, the LC-NA neurons inhibit the sleep active neurons in VLPO through α2 receptor, and activate the arousal active neurons through α1 and β receptor, both of which generate synergistic effects to promote arousal.
It is reported that Professor Wang Liecheng’s team has long been committed to the research on sleep-arousal mechanism, and this time they made another significant research achievement via advanced loop function detection technology.
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