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 = {Yu, X and Li, W and Ma, Y and Tossell, K and Harris, JJ and Harding, EC and Ba, W and Miracca, G and Wang, D and Li, L and Guo, J and Chen, M and Li, Y and Yustos, R and Vyssotski, AL and Burdakov, D and Yang, Q and Dong, H and Franks, NP and Wisden, W},
doi = {10.1038/s41593-018-0288-9},
journal = {Nat Neurosci},
pages = {106--119},
title = {GABA and glutamate neurons in the VTA regulate sleep and wakefulness.},
url = {},
volume = {22},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We screened for novel circuits in the mouse brain that promote wakefulness. Chemogenetic activation experiments and electroencephalogram recordings pointed to glutamatergic/nitrergic (NOS1) and GABAergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Activating glutamatergic/NOS1 neurons, which were wake- and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep-active, produced wakefulness through projections to the nucleus accumbens and the lateral hypothalamus. Lesioning the glutamate cells impaired the consolidation of wakefulness. By contrast, activation of GABAergic VTA neurons elicited long-lasting non-rapid-eye-movement-like sleep resembling sedation. Lesioning these neurons produced an increase in wakefulness that persisted for at least 4 months. Surprisingly, these VTA GABAergic neurons were wake- and REM sleep-active. We suggest that GABAergic VTA neurons may limit wakefulness by inhibiting the arousal-promoting VTA glutamatergic and/or dopaminergic neurons and through projections to the lateral hypothalamus. Thus, in addition to its contribution to goal- and reward-directed behaviors, the VTA has a role in regulating sleep and wakefulness.
AU - Yu,X
AU - Li,W
AU - Ma,Y
AU - Tossell,K
AU - Harris,JJ
AU - Harding,EC
AU - Ba,W
AU - Miracca,G
AU - Wang,D
AU - Li,L
AU - Guo,J
AU - Chen,M
AU - Li,Y
AU - Yustos,R
AU - Vyssotski,AL
AU - Burdakov,D
AU - Yang,Q
AU - Dong,H
AU - Franks,NP
AU - Wisden,W
DO - 10.1038/s41593-018-0288-9
EP - 119
PY - 2019///
SP - 106
TI - GABA and glutamate neurons in the VTA regulate sleep and wakefulness.
T2 - Nat Neurosci
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 22
ER -