Neuronal Ensembles Sufficient for Recovery Sleep and the Sedative Actions of α2 Adrenergic Agonists

Dexmedetomidine activates mechanisms of similar nature to those activated for natural sleep induction after sleep deprivation. Using animal models including those with a selective knockdown of 2A adrenergic receptors of the locus ceruleus, the study demonstrates that to induce its sedative effect dexmedetomidine engages neuronal systems involved in natural sleep pathways, which are different to the mechanisms involved in the induction of general anesthesia.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25706476