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.
glucose; in vivo amperometry; sleep; rat; cerebral cortex; EEG; slow wave activity
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.
neurons; plasticity and learning; sleep; homeostatic regulation; declarative memory; procedural memory
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.
adolescence; cerebral cortex; sleep deprivation; slow wave activity
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.
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.
sleep; cortex; synapse; adolescence; pruning
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.
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.
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.
The electrical activity of the brain does not only reflect the current level of arousal, ongoing behavior or involvement in a specific task, but is also influenced by what kind of activity, and how much sleep and waking occurred before. The best marker of sleep-wake history is the electroencephalogram (EEG) spectral power in slow frequencies (slow-wave activity, 0.5–4 Hz, SWA) during sleep, which is high after extended wakefulness and low after consolidated sleep. While sleep homeostasis has been well characterized in various species and experimental paradigms, the specific mechanisms underlying homeostatic changes in brain activity or their functional significance remain poorly understood. However, several recent studies in humans, rats and computer simulations shed light on the cortical mechanisms underlying sleep regulation. First, it was found that the homeostatic changes in SWA can be fully accounted for by the variations in amplitude and slope of EEG slow waves, which are in turn determined by the efficacy of cortico-cortical connectivity. Specifically, the slopes of sleep slow waves were steeper in early sleep compared to late sleep. Second, the slope of cortical evoked potentials, which is an established marker of synaptic strength, was steeper after waking and decreased after sleep. Furthermore, cortical long-term potentiation (LTP) was partially occluded if it was induced after a period of waking, but it could again be fully expressed after sleep. Finally, multiunit activity recordings during sleep revealed that cortical neurons fired more synchronously after waking, and less so after a period of consolidated sleep. The decline of all these electrophysiological measures - the slopes of slow waves and evoked potentials and neuronal synchrony – during sleep correlated with the decline of the traditional marker of sleep homeostasis, EEG SWA. Taken together, these data suggest that homeostatic changes in sleep EEG are the result of altered neuronal firing and synchrony, which in turn arise from changes in functional neuronal connectivity.
sleep homeostasis; synaptic homeostasis; multiunit activity; neurons; cortex
Sleep consists of quiescent periods with reduced responsiveness to external stimuli. Despite being maladaptive in that when asleep, animals are less able to respond to dangerous stimuli, sleep behavior is conserved in all animal species studied to date. Thus, sleep must be performing at least one fundamental, conserved function that is necessary, and/ or whose benefits outweigh its maladaptive consequences. Currently, there is no consensus on what that function might be. Over the last 10 years, multiple groups have started to characterize the molecular mechanisms and brain structures necessary for normal sleep in Drosophila melanogaster. These researchers are exploiting genetic tools developed in Drosophila over the past century to identify and manipulate gene expression. Forward genetic screens can identify molecular components in complex biological systems and once identified, these genes can be manipulated within specific brain areas to determine which neuronal groups are important to initiate and maintain sleep. Screening for mutations and brain regions necessary for normal sleep has revealed that several genes that affect sleep are involved in synaptic plasticity and have preferential expression in the mushroom bodies (MB). Moreover, altering MB neuronal activity alters sleep. Previous genetic screens found that the same genes enriched in MB are necessary for learning and memory. Increasing evidence in mammals, including humans, points to a beneficial role for sleep in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Thus, results from both flies and mammals suggest a strong link between sleep need and wake plasticity.
The functions of sleep remain elusive, but a strong link exists between sleep need and neuronal plasticity. We tested the hypothesis that plastic processes during wake lead to a net increase in synaptic strength, and sleep is necessary for synaptic renormalization. We found that, in 3 Drosophila neuronal circuits, synapse size or number increases after a few hours of wake and decreases only if flies are allowed to sleep. A richer wake experience resulted in both larger synaptic growth and greater sleep need. Finally, we demonstrate that the gene Fmr1 (fragile X mental retardation 1) plays an important role in sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization.
Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is an electrophysiological phenomenon first described by Leao in 1944 as a suppression of spontaneous electroencephalographic activity, traveling across the cerebral cortex. In vitro studies suggest that CSD may induce synaptic potentiation. One recent study also found that CSD is followed by a non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep duration increase, suggesting an increased need for sleep. Recent experiments in animals and humans show that the occurrence of synaptic potentiation increases subsequent sleep need as measured by larger slow wave activity (SWA) during NREM sleep, prompting the question whether CSD can affect NREM SWA. Here, we find that, in freely moving rats, local CSD induction increases corticocortical evoked responses and strongly induces brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the affected cortical hemisphere but not in the contralateral one, consistent with synaptic potentiation in vivo. Moreover, for several hours after CSD, large slow waves occur in the affected hemisphere during rapid eye movement sleep and quiet waking but disappear during active exploration. Finally, we find that CSD increases NREM sleep duration and SWA, the latter specifically in the affected hemisphere. These effects are consistent with an increase in synaptic strength triggered by CSD, although nonphysiological phenomena associated with CSD may also play a role.
cerebral cortex; EEG; rat; slow wave activity
When the brain is awake, neurons in the cerebral cortex fire irregularly and the electroencephalogram (EEG) displays low amplitude, high frequency fluctuations. After falling asleep, neurons start oscillating between ON periods, when they fire as during wake, and OFF periods, when they stop firing altogether, and the EEG displays high amplitude slow waves. But what happens to neuronal firing after a long period of wake? We show here in freely behaving rats that, after prolonged wake, cortical neurons can go briefly “OFF line” as they do in sleep, accompanied by slower waves in the local EEG. Strikingly, neurons often go OFF line in one cortical area and not in another. During these periods of “local sleep”, whose incidence increases with wake duration, rats appear awake, active, and display a wake EEG. However, they are progressively impaired in a sugar pellet reaching task. Thus, though both the EEG and behavior indicate wakefulness, local populations of neurons in the cortex may be falling asleep, with negative consequences on performance.
slow wave sleep; slow oscillations; EEG; cerebral cortex; multi-unit recording; reaching task; sleep deprivation
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.
synaptic plasticity; glutamatergic transmission; sleep/wake cycle; frontal cortex; pyramidal neuron; behavioral state
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.
slow wave sleep; slow oscillations; EEG; rat; cerebral cortex; multi-unit recording
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.
rat; sleep; proteomics
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.
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 http://www.pysolo.net. pySolo is a free software released under the GNU General Public License.
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.
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.
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.
Protein kinase C (PKC); mania; lithium; neurogranin; NR1; GluA1
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.
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.
glutamate; in vivo amperometry; sleep; rat; cerebral cortex; EEG; slow wave activity
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.
Drosophila; synaptic plasticity; dFmr1; Fmr1; fragile X; FMRP; sleep; lifespan
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.