Cellular correlates of wakefulness and slow-wave sleep: evidence for a key role of inhibition.
Eduarda Susin and Alain Destexhe.

Current Opinion Physiol. 15: 68-73, 2020.

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Recent studies have identied interesting cellular dynamics in wakefulness and slow-wave sleep (SWS), as we review here for unit recordings in animals and human. First, a novel form of homeostasis was observed during sleep, where high-firing cells in wake tend to fire slower during SWS, while low-firing cells in wake tend to fire faster in SWS. Second, there seems to be a stronger involvement of inhibitory cells compared to excitatory cells during gamma oscillations in SWS. Third, pairwise cross-correlations between cells seem to increase specically during SWS, but only for inhibitory neurons. We compare these results between animal and human unit recordings, and confirm the similarities in cellular dynamics in wake and SWS, and highlight that differences are mostly apparent in the dynamics and correlations of inhibitory cells. These results suggest that inhibitory networks are key in the dynamics of sleep, and should be a main target in future studies.