Immune Signaling to Brain: Mechanisms and Potential Pathways Influencing Sleep

  • Lisa Goehler
  • Ronald Gaykema


Immune activation modulates sleep by influencing brain neurons involved in the regulation and maintenance of sleep-wake cycles and arousal states. The precise mechanisms by which this occurs are not completely established, but seem to follow from direct influences of immune-derived mediators, such as cytokines, on sleep/wake neurons (Opp 2005), and/or via activation of peripheral viscerosensory neurons driving brain neural circuits that modulate arousal states in response to internal and external challenges. In this chapter we will review the organization of visceral sensory pathways that carry immune-related information to the brain, and recent findings regarding the brain neurocircuitry connecting immune-brain interfaces with arousal network nuclei that influence sleep-wake states.


Vagus Nerve Carotid Body Area Postrema Immune Signaling Glomus Cell 
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© Springer 2007

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  • Lisa Goehler
  • Ronald Gaykema

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