Sugar Coma Model

How glucose fires up sleep-inducing neurons

Oct 1, 2015
Ashley P. Taylor

© KIMBERLY BATTISTA. INSET REDRAWN WITH PERMISSION FROM THIERRY GALLOPINAn injection of glucose into the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) of the anterior hypothalamus fuels ATP production in sleep-promoting neurons located in the VLPO. This boost in cellular ATP closes potassium channels (KATP), leading to neuronal excitation and the onset of sleep. When the VLPO sleep promoting neurons fire, they inhibit arousal-promoting areas of the brain (inset, orange; sleep-promoting areas in blue). Glucose can also reduce arousal by directly inhibiting orexin-releasing neurons.

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