Imperial College London

Prof. William Wisden F. Med. Sci.

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Chair in Molecular Neuroscience



+44 (0)20 7594 9744w.wisden Website CV




401BSir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Harding, EC and Yu, X and Miao, A and Andrews, N and Ma, Y and Ye, Z and Lignos, L and Miracca, G and Ba, W and Yustos, R and Vyssotski, AL and Wisden, W and Franks, NP},
doi = {10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.054},
journal = {Current Biology},
pages = {2263--2273.e4},
title = {A Neuronal Hub Binding Sleep Initiation and Body Cooling in Response to a Warm External Stimulus},
url = {},
volume = {28},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - © 2018 The Authors Mammals, including humans, prepare for sleep by nesting and/or curling up, creating microclimates of skin warmth. To address whether external warmth induces sleep through defined circuitry, we used c-Fos-dependent activity tagging, which captures populations of activated cells and allows them to be reactivated to test their physiological role. External warming tagged two principal groups of neurons in the median preoptic (MnPO)/medial preoptic (MPO) hypothalamic area. GABA neurons located mainly in MPO produced non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep but no body temperature decrease. Nitrergic-glutamatergic neurons in MnPO-MPO induced both body cooling and NREM sleep. This circuitry explains how skin warming induces sleep and why the maximal rate of core body cooling positively correlates with sleep onset. Thus, the pathways that promote NREM sleep, reduced energy expenditure, and body cooling are inextricably linked, commanded by the same neurons. This implies that one function of NREM sleep is to lower brain temperature and/or conserve energy. Harding et al. identify nitrergic/glutamatergic neurons in the MnPO-MPO hypothalamus, which after activity tagging by a warm external stimulus induce both sleep and hypothermia when reactivated. This suggests sleep and body cooling are inextricably linked. Reactivating GABAergic neurons, however, induces only sleep.
AU - Harding,EC
AU - Yu,X
AU - Miao,A
AU - Andrews,N
AU - Ma,Y
AU - Ye,Z
AU - Lignos,L
AU - Miracca,G
AU - Ba,W
AU - Yustos,R
AU - Vyssotski,AL
AU - Wisden,W
AU - Franks,NP
DO - 10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.054
EP - 2273
PY - 2018///
SN - 0960-9822
SP - 2263
TI - A Neuronal Hub Binding Sleep Initiation and Body Cooling in Response to a Warm External Stimulus
T2 - Current Biology
UR -
UR -
VL - 28
ER -