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Cholinergic stimulation in the basal forebrain (BF) triggers cataplexy in canine narcolepsy. Extracellular single unit recordings in the BF were carried out in freely moving narcoleptic dogs to study the neuronal mechanisms mediating cataplexy induction in the BF. Among the 64 recorded neurons, 12 were wake-active, three were slow wave sleep (SWS)-active, 17 were wake-/REM-active, 11 were REM sleep-active, three were cataplexy-active, and the other 18 were state-independent. Systemic administration of physostigmine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, induces status cataplecticus, decreases SWS and increases acetylcholine levels in the BF. Firing of most of the state-dependent neurons in the BF was significantly modified by physostigmine. Some of these neurons may thus mediate sleep stage changes or the effect on cataplexy observed after cholinergic stimulation in the BF.
View details for Web of Science ID 000077493400021
View details for PubMedID 9858375