GSBS Dissertations and Theses



Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Academic Program



Neurobiology; Anaclet Lab

First Thesis Advisor

Christelle Anaclet


Sleep Wake Control, Parafacial Zone, PZ, Phox2B


Inhibitory GABAergic neurons in the parafacial zone (PZGABA) are essential for slow wave sleep (SWS). Since existing literature about the heterogenous population of PZ neurons is lacking, questions remain regarding the non-GABAergic sleep active PZ neurons. This study seeks to determine if glutamatergic PZ neurons expressing the transcription factor Phox2B (PZPhox2B) participate in sleep-wake control. Phox2B-IRES-Cre mice received injections of adeno-associated virus containing Cre-dependent diphtheria toxin subunit A (DTA) DNA into the PZ (PZPhox2B-DTA). Analysis of injection sites revealed transfection covering the PZ and the locus coeruleus, also known to express Phox2B. We recorded the sleep-wake cycle of PZPhox2B-DTA mice and compared them with control mice, analyzing their sleep-wake quantity, fragmentation, and power spectral distribution.

We found total amounts and cortical power for wakefulness, SWS, and REM sleep of PZPhox2B-DTA mice were unaffected. There was fragmentation in wakefulness during the active period for PZPhox2B-DTA mice, seen as a significant reduction in the amount of time and number of episodes spent in the longest bout; however, wakefulness during the rest period was not significantly altered. No significant change was found in the bout numbers and amounts for SWS and REM sleep of PZPhox2B-DTA mice. I was unable to confirm targeted ablation of PZPhox2B-DTA neurons due to a lack of reliable antibody staining. Therefore, it remains possible that ablation of PZPhox2B neurons was incomplete and the wakeful fragmentation is due to neuronal ablation outside of the PZ, such as in the neighboring LC.



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