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1.  Prolonged wakefulness alters neuronal responsiveness to local electrical stimulation of the neocortex in awake rats 
Journal of sleep research  2012;10.1111/jsr.12009.
Prolonged wakefulness or a lack of sleep lead to cognitive deficits, but little is known about the underlying cellular mechanisms. We recently found that sleep deprivation affects spontaneous neuronal activity in the neocortex of sleeping and awake rats. While it is well known that synaptic responses are modulated by ongoing cortical activity, it remains unclear whether prolonged waking affects responsiveness of cortical neurons to incoming stimuli. By applying local electrical microstimulation to the frontal area of the neocortex, we found that after a 4-hour period of waking the initial neuronal response in the contralateral frontal cortex was stronger and more synchronous, and was followed by a more profound inhibition of neuronal spiking as compared to the control condition. These changes in evoked activity suggest increased neuronal excitability and indicate that after staying awake cortical neurons become transiently bistable. We propose that some of the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation may be a result of altered neuronal responsiveness to incoming intrinsic and extrinsic inputs.
PMCID: PMC3723708  PMID: 23607417
sleep; LFP; evoked responses; cerebral cortex; multi-unit recording; prolonged wakefulness
2.  Effects of Sleep and Wake on Oligodendrocytes and Their Precursors 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(36):14288-14300.
Previous studies of differential gene expression in sleep and wake pooled transcripts from all brain cells and showed that several genes expressed at higher levels during sleep are involved in the synthesis/maintenance of membranes in general and of myelin in particular, a surprising finding given the reported slow turnover of many myelin components. Other studies showed that oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are responsible for the formation of new myelin in both the injured and the normal adult brain, and that glutamate released from neurons, via neuron–OPC synapses, can inhibit OPC proliferation and affect their differentiation into myelin-forming oligodendrocytes. Because glutamatergic transmission is higher in wake than in sleep, we asked whether sleep and wake can affect oligodendrocytes and OPCs. Using the translating ribosome affinity purification technology combined with microarray analysis in mice, we obtained a genome-wide profiling of oligodendrocytes after sleep, spontaneous wake, and forced wake (acute sleep deprivation). We found that hundreds of transcripts being translated in oligodendrocytes are differentially expressed in sleep and wake: genes involved in phospholipid synthesis and myelination or promoting OPC proliferation are transcribed preferentially during sleep, while genes implicated in apoptosis, cellular stress response, and OPC differentiation are enriched in wake. We then confirmed through BrdU and other experiments that OPC proliferation doubles during sleep and positively correlates with time spent in REM sleep, whereas OPC differentiation is higher during wake. Thus, OPC proliferation and differentiation are not perfectly matched at any given circadian time but preferentially occur during sleep and wake, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3874087  PMID: 24005282
Journal of neurochemistry  2012;124(1):79-89.
Most of the energy in the brain comes from glucose and supports glutamatergic activity. The firing rate of cortical glutamatergic neurons, as well as cortical extracellular glutamate levels, increase with time spent awake and decline throughout non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, raising the question whether glucose levels reflect behavioral state and sleep/wake history. Here chronic (2–3 days) electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings in the rat cerebral cortex were coupled with fixed-potential amperometry to monitor the extracellular concentration of glucose ([gluc]) on a second-by-second basis across the spontaneous sleep-wake cycle and in response to 3 hours of sleep deprivation. [Gluc] progressively increased during NREM sleep and declined during REM sleep, while during wake an early decline in [gluc] was followed by an increase 8–15 minutes after awakening. There was a significant time of day effect during the dark phase, when rats are mostly awake, with [gluc] being significantly lower during the last 3–4 hours of the night relative to the first 3–4 hours. Moreover, the duration of the early phase of [gluc] decline during wake was longer after prolonged wake than after consolidated sleep. Thus, the sleep/wake history may affect the levels of glucose available to the brain upon awakening.
PMCID: PMC3518620  PMID: 23106535
glucose; in vivo amperometry; sleep; rat; cerebral cortex; EEG; slow wave activity
4.  Sleep-Dependent Synaptic Down-Selection (I): Modeling the Benefits of Sleep on Memory Consolidation and Integration 
Sleep can favor the consolidation of both procedural and declarative memories, promote gist extraction, help the integration of new with old memories, and desaturate the ability to learn. It is often assumed that such beneficial effects are due to the reactivation of neural circuits in sleep to further strengthen the synapses modified during wake or transfer memories to different parts of the brain. A different possibility is that sleep may benefit memory not by further strengthening synapses, but rather by renormalizing synaptic strength to restore cellular homeostasis after net synaptic potentiation in wake. In this way, the sleep-dependent reactivation of neural circuits could result in the competitive down-selection of synapses that are activated infrequently and fit less well with the overall organization of memories. By using computer simulations, we show here that synaptic down-selection is in principle sufficient to explain the beneficial effects of sleep on the consolidation of procedural and declarative memories, on gist extraction, and on the integration of new with old memories, thereby addressing the plasticity-stability dilemma.
PMCID: PMC3786405  PMID: 24137153
neurons; plasticity and learning; sleep; homeostatic regulation; declarative memory; procedural memory
5.  Sleep Patterns and Homeostatic Mechanisms in Adolescent Mice 
Brain sciences  2013;3(1):318-343.
Sleep changes were studied in mice (n = 59) from early adolescence to adulthood (postnatal days P19–111). REM sleep declined steeply in early adolescence, while total sleep remained constant and NREM sleep increased slightly. Four hours of sleep deprivation starting at light onset were performed from ages P26 through adulthood (>P60). Following this acute sleep deprivation all mice slept longer and with more consolidated sleep bouts, while NREM slow wave activity (SWA) showed high interindividual variability in the younger groups, and increased consistently only after P42. Three parameters together explained up to 67% of the variance in SWA rebound in frontal cortex, including weight-adjusted age and increase in alpha power during sleep deprivation, both of which positively correlated with the SWA response. The third, and strongest predictor was the SWA decline during the light phase in baseline: mice with high peak SWA at light onset, resulting in a large SWA decline, were more likely to show no SWA rebound after sleep deprivation, a result that was also confirmed in parietal cortex. During baseline, however, SWA showed the same homeostatic changes in adolescents and adults, declining in the course of sleep and increasing across periods of spontaneous wake. Thus, we hypothesize that, in young adolescent mice, a ceiling effect and not the immaturity of the cellular mechanisms underlying sleep homeostasis may prevent the SWA rebound when wake is extended beyond its physiological duration.
PMCID: PMC3682503  PMID: 23772316
adolescence; cerebral cortex; sleep deprivation; slow wave activity
6.  Sleep Patterns and Homeostatic Mechanisms in Adolescent Mice 
Brain Sciences  2013;3(1):318-343.
Sleep changes were studied in mice (n = 59) from early adolescence to adulthood (postnatal days P19–111). REM sleep declined steeply in early adolescence, while total sleep remained constant and NREM sleep increased slightly. Four hours of sleep deprivation starting at light onset were performed from ages P26 through adulthood (>P60). Following this acute sleep deprivation all mice slept longer and with more consolidated sleep bouts, while NREM slow wave activity (SWA) showed high interindividual variability in the younger groups, and increased consistently only after P42. Three parameters together explained up to 67% of the variance in SWA rebound in frontal cortex, including weight-adjusted age and increase in alpha power during sleep deprivation, both of which positively correlated with the SWA response. The third, and strongest predictor was the SWA decline during the light phase in baseline: mice with high peak SWA at light onset, resulting in a large SWA decline, were more likely to show no SWA rebound after sleep deprivation, a result that was also confirmed in parietal cortex. During baseline, however, SWA showed the same homeostatic changes in adolescents and adults, declining in the course of sleep and increasing across periods of spontaneous wake. Thus, we hypothesize that, in young adolescent mice, a ceiling effect and not the immaturity of the cellular mechanisms underlying sleep homeostasis may prevent the SWA rebound when wake is extended beyond its physiological duration.
PMCID: PMC3682503  PMID: 23772316
adolescence; cerebral cortex; sleep deprivation; slow wave activity
7.  Sleep spindles in humans: insights from intracranial EEG and unit recordings 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2011;31(49):17821-17834.
Sleep spindles are an electroencephalographic (EEG) hallmark of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and are believed to mediate many sleep-related functions, from memory consolidation to cortical development. Spindles differ in location, frequency, and association with slow waves, but whether this heterogeneity may reflect different physiological processes and potentially serve different functional roles remains unclear. Here we utilized a unique opportunity to record intracranial depth EEG and single-unit activity in multiple brain regions of neurosurgical patients to better characterize spindle activity in human sleep. We find that spindles occur across multiple neocortical regions, and less frequently also in the parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus. Most spindles are spatially restricted to specific brain regions. In addition, spindle frequency is topographically organized with a sharp transition around the supplementary motor area between fast (13-15Hz) centroparietal spindles often occurring with slow wave up-states, and slow (9-12Hz) frontal spindles occurring 200ms later on average. Spindle variability across regions may reflect the underlying thalamocortical projections. We also find that during individual spindles, frequency decreases within and between regions. In addition, deeper sleep is associated with a reduction in spindle occurrence and spindle frequency. Frequency changes between regions, during individual spindles, and across sleep may reflect the same phenomenon, the underlying level of thalamocortical hyperpolarization. Finally, during spindles neuronal firing rates are not consistently modulated, although some neurons exhibit phase-locked discharges. Overall, anatomical considerations can account well for regional spindle characteristics, while variable hyperpolarization levels can explain differences in spindle frequency.
PMCID: PMC3270580  PMID: 22159098
8.  Sleep and wake modulate spine turnover in the adolescent mouse cortex 
Nature neuroscience  2011;14(11):1418-1420.
Cortical development involves synaptic formation and elimination. While synaptogenesis predominates earlier and pruning later, the two processes are thought to happen concurrently. Since in adults synaptic strength is modulated by behavioral state, we asked if synaptic remodeling may be affected by sleep and wake. Using two-photon microscopy in adolescent mice, we found that wake results in a net increase in cortical spines, whereas sleep is associated with net spine loss.
PMCID: PMC3203346  PMID: 21983682
sleep; cortex; synapse; adolescence; pruning
9.  Time to Be SHY? Some Comments on Sleep and Synaptic Homeostasis 
Neural Plasticity  2012;2012:415250.
Sleep must serve an essential, universal function, one that offsets the risk of being disconnected from the environment. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY) is an attempt to identify this essential function. Its core claim is that sleep is needed to reestablish synaptic homeostasis, which is challenged by the remarkable plasticity of the brain. In other words, sleep is “the price we pay for plasticity.” In this issue, M. G. Frank reviewed several aspects of the hypothesis and raised several issues. The comments below provide a brief summary of the motivations underlying SHY and clarify that SHY is a hypothesis not about specific mechanisms, but about a universal, essential function of sleep. This function is the preservation of synaptic homeostasis in the face of a systematic bias toward a net increase in synaptic strength—a challenge that is posed by learning during adult wake, and by massive synaptogenesis during development.
PMCID: PMC3350977  PMID: 22619736
10.  Regional Slow Waves and Spindles in Human Sleep 
Neuron  2011;70(1):153-169.
The most prominent EEG events in sleep are slow waves, reflecting a slow (<1 Hz) oscillation between up and down states in cortical neurons. It is unknown whether slow oscillations are synchronous across the majority or the minority of brain regions—are they a global or local phenomenon? To examine this, we recorded simultaneously scalp EEG, intracerebral EEG, and unit firing in multiple brain regions of neurosurgical patients. We find that most sleep slow waves and the underlying active and inactive neuronal states occur locally. Thus, especially in late sleep, some regions can be active while others are silent. We also find that slow waves can propagate, usually from medial prefrontal cortex to the medial temporal lobe and hippocampus. Sleep spindles, the other hallmark of NREM sleep EEG, are likewise predominantly local. Thus, intracerebral communication during sleep is constrained because slow and spindle oscillations often occur out-of-phase in different brain regions.
PMCID: PMC3108825  PMID: 21482364
11.  Reduction of EEG Theta Power and Changes in Motor Activity in Rats Treated with Ceftriaxone 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e34139.
The glutamate transporter GLT-1 is responsible for the largest proportion of total glutamate transport. Recently, it has been demonstrated that ceftriaxone (CEF) robustly increases GLT-1 expression. In addition, physiological studies have shown that GLT-1 up-regulation strongly affects synaptic plasticity, and leads to an impairment of the prepulse inhibition, a simple form of information processing, thus suggesting that GLT-1 over-expression may lead to dysfunctions of large populations of neurons. To test this possibility, we assessed whether CEF affects cortical electrical activity by using chronic electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings in male WKY rats. Spectral analysis showed that 8 days of CEF treatment resulted in a delayed reduction in EEG theta power (7–9 Hz) in both frontal and parietal derivations. This decrease peaked at day 10, i.e., 2 days after the end of treatment, and disappeared by day 16. In addition, we found that the same CEF treatment increased motor activity, especially when EEG changes are more prominent. Taken together, these data indicate that GLT-1 up-regulation, by modulating glutamatergic transmission, impairs the activity of widespread neural circuits. In addition, the increased motor activity and prepulse inhibition alterations previously described suggest that neural circuits involved in sensorimotor control are particularly sensitive to GLT-1 up-regulation.
PMCID: PMC3316604  PMID: 22479544
12.  Direct evidence for wake-related increases and sleep-related decreases in synaptic strength in rodent cortex 
Despite evidence that waking is associated with net synaptic potentiation and sleep with depression, direct proof for changes in synaptic currents is lacking in large brain areas such as the cerebral cortex. By recording miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) from frontal cortex slices of mice and rats that had been awake or asleep, we found that the frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs increased after wake and decreased after sleep. Recovery sleep after sleep deprivation also decreased mEPSCs, suggesting that sleep favors synaptic homeostasis. Since stronger synapses require more energy, space, and supplies, a generalized downscaling of synapses may be an important function of sleep.
PMCID: PMC2903226  PMID: 20573912
synaptic plasticity; glutamatergic transmission; sleep/wake cycle; frontal cortex; pyramidal neuron; behavioral state
13.  Cortical firing and sleep homeostasis 
Neuron  2009;63(6):865-878.
The need to sleep grows with the duration of wakefulness and dissipates with time spent asleep, a process called sleep homeostasis. What are the consequences of staying awake on brain cells, and why is sleep needed? Surprisingly, we do not know whether the firing of cortical neurons is affected by how long an animal has been awake or asleep. Here we found that after sustained wakefulness cortical neurons fire at higher frequencies in all behavioral states. During early NREM sleep after sustained wakefulness, periods of population activity (ON) are short, frequent, and associated with synchronous firing, while periods of neuronal silence are long and frequent. After sustained sleep, firing rates and synchrony decrease, while the duration of ON periods increases. Changes in firing patterns in NREM sleep correlate with changes in slow-wave-activity, a marker of sleep homeostasis. Thus, the systematic increase of firing during wakefulness is counterbalanced by staying asleep.
PMCID: PMC2819325  PMID: 19778514
slow wave sleep; slow oscillations; EEG; rat; cerebral cortex; multi-unit recording
14.  Proteomic profiling of the rat cerebral cortex in sleep and waking 
Archives italiennes de biologie  2009;147(3):59-68.
Transcriptomic studies have shown that hundreds of genes change their expression levels across the sleep/waking cycle, and found that waking-related and sleep-related mRNAs belong to different functional categories. Proteins, however, rather than DNA or RNA, carry out most of the cellular functions, and direct measurements of protein levels and activity are required to assess the effects of behavioral states on the overall functional state of the cell. Here we used surface-enhanced laser desorption-ionization (SELDI), followed by time-of-flight mass spectrometry, to obtain a large-scale profiling of the proteins in the rat cerebral cortex whose expression is affected by sleep, spontaneous waking, short (6 hours) and long (7 days) sleep deprivation. Each of the 94 cortical samples was profiled in duplicate on 4 different ProteinChip Array surfaces using 2 different matrix molecules. Overall, 1055 protein peaks were consistently detected in cortical samples and 15 candidate biomarkers were selected for identification based on significant changes in multiple conditions (conjunction analysis): 8 “sleep” peaks, 4 “waking” peaks, and 4 “long sleep deprivation” peaks. Four candidate biomarkers were purified and positively identified. The 3353 Da candidate sleep marker was identified as the 30 amino acid C-terminal fragment of rat histone H4. This regions encompasses the osteogenic growth peptide, but a possible link between sleep and this peptide remains highly speculative. Two peaks associated with short and long sleep deprivation were identified as hemoglobin alpha1/2 and beta, respectively, while another peak associated with long sleep deprivation was identified as cytochrome C. The upregulation of hemoglobins and cytochrome C may be part of a cellular stress response triggered by even short periods of sleep loss.
PMCID: PMC2796588  PMID: 20014652
rat; sleep; proteomics
15.  The genetic and molecular regulation of sleep: from fruit flies to humans 
Nature reviews. Neuroscience  2009;10(8):549-560.
It has been known for a long time that genetic factors affect sleep quantity and quality. Genetic screens identified several mutations that affect sleep across species, pointing to an evolutionary conserved regulation of sleep. Moreover, it has also been recognized that sleep affects the expression of genes. These findings have given valuable clues about the molecular underpinnings of sleep regulation and function that might lead the way to more efficient treatments for sleep disorders.
PMCID: PMC2767184  PMID: 19617891
16.  pySolo: a complete suite for sleep analysis in Drosophila 
Bioinformatics  2009;25(11):1466-1467.
Summary: pySolo is a multiplatform software for analysis of sleep and locomotor activity in Drosophila melanogaster. pySolo provides a user-friendly graphic interface and it has been developed with the specific aim of being accessible, portable, fast and easily expandable through an intuitive plug-in structure. Support for development of additional plug-ins is provided through a community website.
Availability: Software and documentation are located at pySolo is a free software released under the GNU General Public License.
PMCID: PMC2732309  PMID: 19369499
17.  Sleep, aging, and lifespan in Drosophila 
BMC Neuroscience  2010;11:56.
Epidemiological studies in humans suggest that a decrease in daily sleep duration is associated with reduced lifespan, but this issue remains controversial. Other studies in humans also show that both sleep quantity and sleep quality decrease with age. Drosophila melanogaster is a useful model to study aging and sleep, and inheriting mutations affecting the potassium current Shaker results in flies that sleep less and have a shorter lifespan. However, whether the link between short sleep and reduced longevity exists also in wild-type flies is unknown. Similarly, it is unknown whether such a link depends on sleep amount per se, rather than on other factors such as waking activity. Also, sleep quality has been shown to decrease in old flies, but it remains unclear whether aging-related sleep fragmentation is a generalized phenomenon.
We compared 3 short sleeping mutant lines (Hk1, HkY and Hk2) carrying a mutation in Hyperkinetic, which codes for the beta subunit of the Shaker channel, to wild-type siblings throughout their entire lifespan (all flies kept at 20°C). Hk1 and HkY mutants were short sleeping relative to wild-type controls from day 3 after eclosure, and Hk2 flies became short sleepers about two weeks later. All 3 Hk mutant lines had reduced lifespan relative to wild-type flies. Total sleep time showed a trend to increase in all lines with age, but the effect was most pronounced in Hk1 and HkY flies. In both mutant and wild-type lines sleep quality did not decay with age, but the strong preference for sleep at night declined starting in "middle age". Using Cox regression analysis we found that in Hk1 and HkY mutants and their control lines there was a negative relationship between total sleep amount during the first 2 and 4 weeks of age and hazard (individual risk of death), while no association was found in Hk2 flies and their wild-type controls. Hk1 and HkY mutants and their control lines also showed an association between total daily wake activity over the first 2 and 4 weeks of age and hazard. However, when both sleep duration and wake activity were used in the same regression, the effects of activity were much reduced, while most of the sleep effects remained significant. Finally, Hk1 flies and wild-type siblings were also tested at 25°C, and results were similar to those at 20°C. Namely, Hk1 mutants were short sleeping, hyperactive, and short lived relative to controls, and sleep quality in both groups did not decrease with age.
Different Hk mutations affect the sleep phenotype, and do so in an age-dependent manner. In 4 of the 6 lines tested sleep associates significantly with lifespan variation even after any effect of activity is removed, but activity does not associate significantly with lifespan after the effects of sleep are removed. Thus, in addition to environmental factors and genetic background, sleep may also affect longevity. Sleep quality does not necessarily decay as flies age, suggesting that aging-related sleep fragmentation may also depend on many factors, including genetic background and rearing conditions.
PMCID: PMC2871268  PMID: 20429945
18.  Widespread Changes in Synaptic Markers as a Function of Sleep and Wakefulness in Drosophila 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2009;324(5923):109-112.
Sleep is universal, strictly regulated, and necessary for cognition. Why this is so remains a mystery, though recent work suggests a link between sleep, memory, and plasticity. However, little is known about how wakefulness and sleep affect synapses. Using Western blots and confocal microscopy in Drosophila, we found that protein levels of key components of central synapses were high after waking and low after sleep. These changes were related to behavioral state rather than time of day and occurred in all major areas of the Drosophila brain. The decrease of synaptic markers during sleep was progressive and sleep was necessary for their decline. Thus, sleep may be involved in maintaining synaptic homeostasis altered by waking activities.
PMCID: PMC2715914  PMID: 19342593
19.  Glutamate Receptors as Targets of Protein Kinase C in the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Animal Models of Mania 
Neuropharmacology  2008;56(1):47-55.
Considerable biochemical evidence suggests that the protein kinase C (PKC) signaling cascade may be a convergent point for the actions of anti-manic agents, and that excessive PKC activation can disrupt prefrontal cortical regulation of thinking and behavior. To date, however, brain protein targets of PKC’s anti-manic effects have not been fully identified. Here we showed that PKC activity was enhanced in the prefrontal cortex of animals treated with the psychostimulant amphetamine. Phosphorylation of MARCKS, a marker of PKC activity, was increased in the prefrontal cortex of animals treated with the psychostimulant amphetamine, as well as in sleep-deprived animals (another animal model of mania), but decreased in lithium-treated animals. The antidepressant imipramine, which shows pro-manic properties in patients with bipolar disorder (BPD), also enhanced phospho-MARCKS in prefrontal cortex in vivo. We further explored the functional targets of PKC in mania-associated behaviors. Neurogranin is a brain-specific, postsynaptically located PKC substrate. PKC phosphorylation of neurogranin was robustly increased by pro-manic manipulations and decreased by anti-manic agents. PKC phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor site NR1S896 and the AMPA receptor site GluA1T840 was also enhanced in the prefrontal cortex of animals treated with the antidepressant imipramine, as well as behaviorally sleep-deprived animals, in striking contrast to the reduced activity seen in lithium-treated animals. These results suggest that PKC may play an important role in regulating NMDA and AMPA receptor functions. The biochemical profile of the PKC pathway thus encompasses both pro- and anti-manic effects on behavior. These results suggest that PKC modulators or their intracellular targets may ultimately represent novel avenues for the development of new therapeutics for mood disorders.
PMCID: PMC2789350  PMID: 18789340
Protein kinase C (PKC); mania; lithium; neurogranin; NR1; GluA1
20.  Increased volatile anesthetic requirement in short-sleeping Drosophila mutants 
Anesthesiology  2009;110(2):313-316.
Anesthesia and sleep share physiological and behavioral similarities. The anesthetic requirement of the recently identified Drosophila mutant minisleeper and other Drosophila mutants was investigated.
Sleep and wakefulness were determined by measuring activity of individual wild-type and mutant flies. Based on the response of the flies at different concentrations of the volatile anesthetics isoflurane and sevoflurane, concentration-response curves were generated and EC50 values were calculated.
The average amount of daily sleep in wild-type Drosophila (n=64) was 965 ±15 minutes and 1022 ± 29 in na[har38] p>0.05; n=32) (mean ± SEM, all p compared to wild-type and other shaker alleles). Shmns flies slept 584 ±13 minutes (n=64, p<0.01), Sh102 412 ± 22 minutes (n=32, p<0.01) and Sh120 782 ± 25 minutes (n=32, p<0.01). The EC50 values for isoflurane were 0.706 (95% confidence interval 0.649 to 0.764, n=661) and for sevoflurane 1.298 (1.180 to 1.416, n=522) in wild-type Drosophila, 1.599 (1.527 to 1.671, n=308) and 2.329 (2.177 to 2.482, n=282) in Sh102, 1.306 (1.212 to 1.400, n=393) and 2.013 (1.868 to 2.158, n=550) in Shmns, 0.957 (0.860 to 1.054, n=297) and 1.619 (1.508 to 1.731, n=386) in Sh120, and 0.6154 (0.581 to 0.649, n=360; p<0.05) and 0.9339 (0.823 to 1.041, n= 274) in na[har38], respectively (all p<0.01).
A single-gene mutation in Drosophila that causes an extreme reduction in daily sleep is responsible for a significant increase in the requirement of volatile anesthetics. This suggests that a single gene mutation affects both sleep behavior and anesthesia and sedation.
PMCID: PMC2776714  PMID: 19164958
Neuronal firing patterns, neuromodulators, and cerebral metabolism change across sleep waking states, and the synaptic release of glutamate is critically involved in these processes. Extrasynaptic glutamate can also affect neural function and may be neurotoxic, but whether and how extracellular glutamate is regulated across sleep-waking states is unclear. To assess the effect of behavioral state on extracellular glutamate at high temporal resolution, we recorded glutamate concentration in prefrontal and motor cortex using fixed-potential amperometry in freely behaving rats. Simultaneously, we recorded local field potentials (LFP) and electroencephalograms (EEG) from contralateral cortex. We observed dynamic, progressive changes in the concentration of glutamate that switched direction as a function of behavioral state. Specifically, the concentration of glutamate increased progressively during waking (0.329 ± 0.06 %/min) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (0.349 ±0.13 %/min). This increase was opposed by a progressive decrease during non-REM (NREM) sleep (0.338 ± 0.06 %/min). During a 3-hr sleep deprivation period, glutamate concentrations initially exhibited the progressive rise observed during spontaneous waking. As sleep pressure increased, glutamate concentrations ceased to increase and began decreasing despite continuous waking. During NREM sleep, the rate of decrease in glutamate was positively correlated with sleep intensity, as indexed by LFP slow wave activity. The rate of decrease doubled during recovery sleep after sleep deprivation. Thus, the progressive increase in cortical extrasynaptic glutamate during EEG-activated states is counteracted by a decrease during NREM sleep that is modulated by sleep pressure. These results provide evidence for a long-term homeostasis of extracellular glutamate across sleep-waking states.
PMCID: PMC2770705  PMID: 19158289
glutamate; in vivo amperometry; sleep; rat; cerebral cortex; EEG; slow wave activity
22.  The Drosophila Fragile X mental retardation gene regulates sleep need 
Sleep need is affected by developmental stage and neuronal plasticity, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The Fragile X mental retardation gene Fmr1, whose loss-of-function mutation causes the most common form of inherited mental retardation in humans, is involved in synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity, and its expression depends on both developmental stage and waking experience. Fmr1 is highly conserved across species and Drosophila mutants carrying dFmr1 loss-of-function or gain-of-function mutations are well characterized: amorphs have overgrown dendritic trees with larger synaptic boutons, developmental defects in pruning, and enhanced neurotransmission, while hypermorphs show opposite defects, including dendritic and axonal underbranching and loss of synapse differentiation. We find here that dFmr1 amorphs are long sleepers and hypermorphs are short sleepers, while both show increased locomotor activity and shortened life-span. Both amorphs and hypermorphs also show abnormal sleep homeostasis, with impaired waking performance and no sleep rebound after sleep deprivation. An impairment in the circadian regulation of sleep cannot account for the altered sleep phenotype of dFmr1 mutants, nor can an abnormal activation of glutamatergic metabotropic receptors. Moreover, overexpression of dFmr1 throughout the mushroom bodies is sufficient to reduce sleep. Finally, dFmr1 protein levels are modulated by both developmental stage and behavioral state, with increased expression immediately after eclosure and after prolonged wakefulness. Thus, dFmr1 expression dose-dependently affects both sleep and synapses, suggesting that changes in sleep time in dFmr1 mutants may derive from changes in synaptic physiology.
PMCID: PMC2750079  PMID: 19228950
Drosophila; synaptic plasticity; dFmr1; Fmr1; fragile X; FMRP; sleep; lifespan
Brain research bulletin  2008;76(5):536-544.
Long-term recordings of seasonal sleep patterns in captive white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) have shown that these birds markedly reduce sleep time during the migratory period relative to the non-migratory period. It was also found that, despite this sleep reduction, sparrows showed no evidence of neurobehavioral deficits in a standard operant task used to assess the effects of sleep loss. In this study, we performed an extensive microarray analysis of gene expression in the sparrow telencephalon during the migratory season (M), relative to a 78-hour period of enforced sleep restriction during the non-migratory season (SR), and a 6-hour period of normal wakefulness during the non-migratory season (W). Of the estimated 17,100 transcripts that were reliably detected, only 0.17% changed expression as a function of M (relative to both SR and W), and 0.11% as a function of SR (relative to both M and W). Brain transcripts whose expression increased during M include the facilitated glucose transporter GLUT1, the presenilin associated rhomboid-like protein PARL, and several members of the heat shock protein family, such as HSP70, HSP90, GRP78 and BiP. These data suggest that migration is associated with brain cellular stress and enhanced energetic demands.
PMCID: PMC2684786  PMID: 18534263
24.  Sleep and wakefulness in Drosophila melanogaster 
Sleep is present and tightly regulated in every vertebrate species in which it has been carefully investigated, but what sleep is for remains a mystery. Sleep is also present in invertebrates, and an extensive analysis in Drosophila melanogaster has shown that sleep in fruit flies show most of the fundamental features that characterize sleep in mammals. In Drosophila, fly sleep consists of sustained periods of quiescence associated with an increased arousal threshold. Fly sleep is modulated by several of the same stimulants and hypnotics that affect mammalian sleep. Moreover, like in mammals, fly sleep shows remarkable interindividual variability. The expression of several genes involved in energy metabolism, synaptic plasticity, and the response to cellular stress varies in Drosophila between sleep and wakefulness, and the same occurs in rodents. Brain activity also changes in flies as a function of behavioral state. Furthermore, Drosophila sleep is tightly regulated in a circadian and homeostatic manner, and the homeostatic regulation is largely independent of the circadian regulation. After sleep deprivation recovery sleep in flies is longer in duration and more consolidated, as indicated by an increase in arousal threshold and fewer brief awakenings. Finally, sleep deprivation in flies impairs vigilance and performance. Because of the extensive similarities between flies and mammals, Drosophila is now being used as a promising model system for the genetic dissection of sleep. Over the last few years, mutagenesis screens have isolated several short sleeping mutants, a demonstration that that single genes can have a powerful effect on a complex trait like sleep.
PMCID: PMC2715168  PMID: 18591491
25.  Is Sleep Essential? 
PLoS Biology  2008;6(8):e216.
No current hypothesis can explain why animals need to sleep. Yet, sleep is universal, tightly regulated, and cannot be deprived without deleterious consequences. This suggests that searching for a core function of sleep, particularly at the cellular level, is still a worthwhile exercise.
PMCID: PMC2525690  PMID: 18752355

Results 1-25 (28)