Geon The Mechanism of Memory Consolidation
During Slow Wave Sleep



During slow wave sleep, both slow oscillations and sharp wave ripples (SWRs) are involved in memory consolidation, but the detailed mechanism remains elusive. Paper 21 has provided evidence for the hypothesis that memory consolidation requires synaptogenesis which could be induced by the Ca2+ ions accompanied with the NMDA plateau. The accumulation of glutamate in a dendritic branch (which acts as a memory unit) is essential for the production of NMDA plateau. The major role of SWRs is likely to supply glutamate. Astrocytes have been demonstrated to regulate the UP state of the slow oscillation, possibly by the release of glutamate. In brain slices containing locus coeruleus (LC), the LC neurons display subthreshold oscillations at the frequency between 0.3 and 3 Hz, which matches the frequency range of slow oscillations. This suggests that the slow oscillation could be paced by LC. The ON state occurs when LC neurons release norepinephrine to augment the activity of protein kinase A, resulting in the dissociation of the CABT complex (consisting of CRMP2 and tubulin) from NMDA receptors (NMDARs). As the release of norepinephrine terminates, CABT may block the GluN2B-containing NMDARs, resulting in NMDAR extinction, which could be the underlying mechanism for the network DOWN state.


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