Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Systems Neuroscience



+44 (0)20 7594 7699s.brickley




402ASir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Zecharia, AY and Yu, X and Götz, T and Ye, Z and Carr, DR and Wulff, P and Bettler, B and Vyssotski, AL and Brickley, SG and Franks, NP and Wisden, W},
doi = {10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2931-12.2012},
journal = {J Neurosci},
pages = {13062--13075},
title = {GABAergic inhibition of histaminergic neurons regulates active waking but not the sleep-wake switch or propofol-induced loss of consciousness.},
url = {},
volume = {32},
year = {2012}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The activity of histaminergic neurons in the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) of the hypothalamus correlates with an animal's behavioral state and maintains arousal. We examined how GABAergic inputs onto histaminergic neurons regulate this behavior. A prominent hypothesis, the "flip-flop" model, predicts that increased and sustained GABAergic drive onto these cells promotes sleep. Similarly, because of the histaminergic neurons' key hub-like place in the arousal circuitry, it has also been suggested that anesthetics such as propofol induce loss of consciousness by acting primarily at histaminergic neurons. We tested both these hypotheses in mice by genetically removing ionotropic GABA(A) or metabotropic GABA(B) receptors from histidine decarboxylase-expressing neurons. At the cellular level, histaminergic neurons deficient in synaptic GABA(A) receptors were significantly more excitable and were insensitive to the anesthetic propofol. At the behavioral level, EEG profiles were recorded in nontethered mice over 24 h. Surprisingly, GABAergic transmission onto histaminergic neurons had no effect in regulating the natural sleep-wake cycle and, in the case of GABA(A) receptors, for propofol-induced loss of righting reflex. The latter finding makes it unlikely that the histaminergic TMN has a central role in anesthesia. GABA(B) receptors on histaminergic neurons were dispensable for all behaviors examined. Synaptic inhibition of histaminergic cells by GABA(A) receptors, however, was essential for habituation to a novel environment.
AU - Zecharia,AY
AU - Yu,X
AU - Götz,T
AU - Ye,Z
AU - Carr,DR
AU - Wulff,P
AU - Bettler,B
AU - Vyssotski,AL
AU - Brickley,SG
AU - Franks,NP
AU - Wisden,W
DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2931-12.2012
EP - 13075
PY - 2012///
SP - 13062
TI - GABAergic inhibition of histaminergic neurons regulates active waking but not the sleep-wake switch or propofol-induced loss of consciousness.
T2 - J Neurosci
UR -
VL - 32
ER -