In modern society, apart from money, what else do young people lack most? Of course, the most lack of sleep, the fast pace of modern life, work pressure is also great, so many young people in order to have their own space. Often stay up late and get up early, but everyone knows that once the lack of sleep occurs, it will cause a lot of bad consequences, so the most direct feeling is to be trapped. No matter in class or meeting, some people even fall asleep while driving.
It’s a common fact that people don’t sleep at night and collapse during the day. Recently, science, a famous academic journal, published an article on the latest research on sleep, which is from experts of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the well-known brain research group of Peking University, and the science and intelligent technology innovation center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They worked together to reveal how human sleepiness actually occurs in the brain.
First, experts found neurons in the brains of mice ahead of time. These neurons can regulate sleepiness. When experts intervene to reduce these neurons, the amount of sleep mice need every day will be greatly reduced – which is equivalent to three hours less sleep per day for humans without sleepiness.
Researchers here point out that the core feature of sleep behavior is the regulation of sleep homeostasis, which means that with the extension of waking time, sleepiness increases gradually. After the accumulation of sleepiness, it eventually leads to sleep, and sleep is the process of gradual resolution of sleepiness. Among them, the difficulty is actually related to the accumulation of a molecule called adenosine. Adenosine is a by-product of cell energy molecules. In short, the longer a person is awake, the more adenosine molecules outside the cell. The more time they combine with the corresponding receptors, thus inhibiting neural activity. Therefore, people will become more and more sleepy.
But how does the brain regulate the release and accumulation of adenosine? In the past, because of the restriction of science and technology, people didn’t know much about it. In this study, a professor developed a new adenosine probe.
The probe can be detected by changing the intensity of fluorescence
According to the magazine, the traditional method can only detect the concentration of adenosine in 10 minutes, but this new method can see the new change in 1 / 10 seconds.
So several groups of scientists used this method to observe the changes of extracellular adenosine concentration in the basal forebrain area of mice, which is the key brain tissue area regulating sleep and wakefulness. The results were consistent with what they thought. These phenomena are telling us that the activity of human neurons is closely related to the changes of adenosine concentration.
Other members of the team further used calcium imaging and optogenetics to find two types of neurons responsible for regulating adenosine release in this area——
Acetylcholinergic neurons and glutamatergic neurons
. The activity of glutamatergic neurons is the main factor that causes the accumulation of extracellular adenosine.
Therefore, all the experts present raised questions. Assuming that glutamate neurons do not work or play less role, we can judge that the accumulation of adenosine will gradually decrease. To this extent, can we reduce sleepiness? To test their conjecture,
The researchers started again
Manually destroying glutamatergic neurons in the basal forebrain of mice, they found little white
The awake time increased significantly. Compared with the control group, these mice could sleep as much as 20% less in a whole day, and they almost never felt sleepy in the whole night.
Scientists point out that in the long-term awake and accumulated sleepiness,
Glutamatergic deficient neurons in the basal forebrain play such a role, because these neurons maintain and promote human wakefulness, and increase sleepiness by stimulating the release of adenosine.
At present, researchers can only use traumatic methods to intervene and regulate sleep, but we have to say that this group of neurons provides a potential target, which may be used to treat sleep related problems in the future. Maybe in the near future, scientists can develop a new drug based on this, which can make us more flexible to regulate our sleep time And avoid the danger caused by sleepiness to a large extent.