Journal article

Nucleus incertus promotes cortical desynchronization and behavioral arousal

Sherie Ma, Giancarlo Allocca, Emma KE Ong-Palsson, Caitlin E Singleton, David Hawkes, Stuart J McDougall, Spencer J Williams, Ross AD Bathgate, Andrew L Gundlach



Arousal and vigilance are essential for survival and relevant regulatory neural circuits lie within the brainstem, hypothalamus and forebrain. The nucleus incertus (NI) is a distinct site within the pontine periventricular gray, containing a substantial population of GABAergic neurons with long-range, ascending projections. Existing neuroanatomical data and functional studies in anesthetized rats, suggest the NI is a central component of a midline behavioral control network well positioned to modulate arousal, vigilance and exploratory navigation, yet none of these roles have been established experimentally. We used a chemogenetic approach-clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) activation of virally delive..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Prof Bryan Roth (University of North Carolina, NC, USA) and Dr. Melanie White (ARMI, Monash University, VIC, Australia) for access to the DREADD construct and assistance in establishing the approach in our laboratory, respectively; and Prof Neil McNaughton (University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ) for valuable comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by project grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia (1005988 and 1067522, A. L. G. and R. A. D. B.); a Grant from The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health Foundation (A. L. G. and S. M.); a Grant from the Besen Family Foundation (A. L. G.); and by the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Support Program. S. J. W. is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow. R. A. D. B. and A. L. G. are NHMRC (Australia) Senior Research Fellows. G.A. is the recipient of a Commonwealth of Australia International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS); and E. K. E. O-P. is the recipient of a University of Melbourne International Research Scholarship (MIFRS/MRS).